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Prior to the decision, only men were allowed to drive and women who were caught doing so were fined and arrested. Currently, all drivers employed by Careem and Uber are male — mostly Saudi nationals driving their privately-owned vehicles.
In Saudi Arabia, women make up 80 percent of Uber’s clientele and 70 percent of the Dubai-based company, Careem.
The decision to recruit Saudi women as drivers comes only four months after King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered reversal of a longstanding policy that banned women from driving in Saudi Arabia. Read more of WikiTribune’s coverage of the decision which was made last September.
Farah Al Dabbagh, a woman born and raised in the capital of Saudi Arabia told WikiTribune that these changes reflect a positive step in Saudi society.
“But what I hear from the women around me, is that most of them are not considering driving right away. They’re scared of being alone in the car and men breaking in. Even I’m scared.”
However, Farah said that she’ll wait and see if many other females will start driving before she’ll consider driving herself.
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