Saudi women drivers get ready to steer their lives

Trainee Amira Abdelgader gets into a car for her driving lesson at Saudi Aramco Driving Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah SEARCH "WOMEN DRIVING" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.

Dharan, Saudi Arabia – On 24 June, when Saudi women are allowed to drive for the first time, architect Amira Abdulgader wants to be sitting at the wheel, the one in control, giving a ride to her mother beside her.

Adulgader dressed in a black veil said as she just finished learning to drive, “Sitting behind the wheel means that you are the one controlling the trip.”

Aramco female staff is 5% of their 66 000 in total, which mean 3000 enroll into a driving school.

In September 2017 King Salman¬†decreed an end to the world’s only ban on women drivers, which has maintained for decades where Saudi Arabia’s deeply conservative Muslim establishment see’s woman little in the workplace or in leadership positions. Many feel King Salman is changing many patriarchal traditions that have remained for decades which were made by older men in the province.

“I would like to control every single detail of my trip. I will be the one to decide when to go, what to do, and when I will come back.”

“We need the car to do our daily activities,” she said. “We are working, we are mothers, we have a lot of social networking, we need to go out – so we need transport. It will change my life.”

For Abdulgader, 24 June will be the day to celebrate that change, and there is only one person she wants to share it with.

Abudlgader said when the 24th of June come she only one person she wants to share it with, “I would like to go to my mother’s house and take her for a ride. This is my first plan actually, and I would like really to enjoy it with my mother. Just me and my mother, without anyone else.”

Photo Credit- The Indian Express

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