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Saudi Arabia: women garage owners make their mark on the industry

Only four years after women were granted the right to drive in the kingdom, the rate of Saudi women working outside the office has soared, particularly in the automotive sector.

In the space of ten years, the country has seen a real emancipation of women in the economic and professional sphere. While Saudi Arabia was among the countries with one of the lowest female labor force participation rates in the world in 2018, today more than 35% of Saudi women are employed. A result that stems mainly from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmane’s vision of openness, and the economic and social reform plan put in place to give it life.

Women train drivers, cab drivers and mechanics

These reforms undertaken by the kingdom now allow Saudi women to drive, travel alone or participate in activities that were once reserved for men. This empowerment of women in the country has seen the blossoming of gender diversity, especially in the automotive field.

In Jeddah, a well-known local garage has five women employees. The feminization of the garage, although it surprised the customers at first, has become an asset put forward by the owner. Today, it is not uncommon to find a female garage owner, mechanic or driver. At the beginning of the year, more than 28,000 women were applying to become train drivers. The country is also encouraging the younger generation of girls and women to continue their education and achieve successful careers.