For the first time, Saudi Arabia will train women to work as air traffic controllers. This is part of efforts to bring in reforms to support the collapsing economy of the kingdom, which has been deteriorating with the dropping oil prices.
Women in the conservative kingdom continue to face restrictions in their daily lives even today. They are not allowed to drive or make major life choices without male consent, including travelling, studying, working and making certain medical decisions.
With its Vision 2030 plan, Saudi Arabia aims to raise the number of women in the traditionally male-dominated workforce to 28% from 23%. The state-owned Saudi Air Navigation Services will choose 80 women from the 6,900 candidates who applied for the programme, the Saudi Gazette reported. Applicants, who need to be between 18 and 25 years old and have a high school diploma with high marks, began to take admission exams on Sunday. After clearing seven such tests, they will be provided theoretical and practical training to work in the air traffic control sector.
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