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Driving licenses to boost empowerment of Saudi women

Nouf Al-Rakan (left) and Deemah Al-Yahya.
RIYADH: The recent introduction of driving licenses for women is a major boost to the female empowerment program in the Kingdom, according to a Saudi businesswoman who was a panelist in a session of the Misk Global Forum, which concluded on Thursday.
Nouf Al-Rakan, CEO of Educational Initiatives, was speaking at a panel discussion on “Women’s empowerment: Everyone’s duty.”
The panel was attended by National Digitization Program Secretary-General Deemah Al-Yahya, Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski, physicist at Harvard University, and Sandy Sein Thein, CEO of Digital Kaway Myanmar.
Al-Rakan said the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a pleasant surprise to most females, including her. “I simply jumped when my father told me about it,” she said.
She recalled that at last year’s Misk Forum, the audience was 75 percent men, and this year it is 50 percent, which shows women in the Kingdom have come forward to the mainstream of society.
Al-Yahya said more women should come forward to work with confidence.
She stressed that men should recognize the capabilities of women and give them their due place.
She said if a man goes for an interview, he will be selected if he has satisfied 60 percent of the requirements, while a woman has to prove her capabilities 100 percent to get selected.
Thein said that female CEOs should always be called simply CEOs, never “women CEOs.”
She stressed that women should be treated and viewed at par with men without any discrimination.

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