Meet the women in Saudi Arabia who are preparing to drive

With women in Saudi Arabia allowed to drive from June 2018, some are looking at the newfound freedom as a way to forge a career and make a living.

Thousands of women have already signed up to be drivers for Middle Eastern ride-hailing app Careem, the company told CNBC Wednesday, amid its push to recruit a total of 100,000 female drivers in the Kingdom.

CNBC met some of the women who are training to become drivers for the service. One recruit wanting to become a Careem driver — or a “captain” as the company calls its drivers — said she saw a driving career as a way to have her independence.

“I just want to be myself and act like I have the power to do anything,” Samera Nour Hussain told CNBC Wednesday. “I don’t want everything from my uncle, like (calling him) and saying, ‘Please take me here, please take me there’. I don’t want to beg to anybody, I want to be myself and that’s why I want to be a captain,” she said, adding that she saw it as a way to “help people.”

That sentiment was echoed by another trainee, Nouf Abdulkader, who said the attraction of the job for her was “helping people” and “trying to get them where they want to be.”

When Saudi Arabia’s King Salman issued a decree in September announcing that a ban on women driving was going to be lifted on 24 June 2018, it brought the Islamic kingdom in line with the rest of the world. Although women are not formally banned from driving under Saudi law it is illegal to grant them a driving license under the current system, effectively creating a ban.
Source Credit: CNBC

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