5,000 women trained at Saudi Driving School

The Saudi Driving School at Princess Noura University in Riyadh. (Courtesy of Princess Noura University website)
Updated 07 July 2018

5,000 women trained at Saudi Driving School

  • At the Saudi Driving School, after passing a written test, trainees spend two hours in a simulation lab before they begin the first six-hour practical training phaset
  • If a trainee fails the road test, she will have to undergo four hours of the second phase’s practical training.

JEDDAH: The Saudi Driving School, in partnership with Princess Nourah University (PNU), has trained some 5,000 women, according to the school’s CEO, Abdul Baset Al-Suwaidi.

Al-Suwaidi said: “This came as part of our support for the royal decree (allowing women to drive), and our contribution to helping women in Saudi Arabia.”

“After passing a written test, trainees spend two hours in a simulation lab before they begin the first six-hour practical training phase.”

A trainee, he said, must pass the first phase of practical training to be able to move on to the second phase, which includes 14 hours of training.

“After that, a trainee must pass the road test, in which she learns 18 key driving skills,” said Al-Suwaidi and added: “Once she passes this test, a trainee is ready to hit the road.”

If a trainee fails the road test, she will have to undergo four hours of the second phase’s practical training, he said.

The school examiner and trainer, Abrar Al-Muhaisani, said her tasks included conducting tests after theoretical and practical training, and ensuring that a trainee passed all phases.

Ahlam Al-Thunayan, one of the first women to obtain a Saudi driving license, said: “The royal decree was issued at the right time, and it stems from King Salman’s faith in Saudi women and the importance of empowering them.”

“History is witnessing Saudi women’s achievements, and their contribution to the development of Saudi Arabia on various levels.” 

She said: “The leadership’s faith in women’s role indicates that their future contributions will be greater.”

Driver Esra Abdul Rahman Al-Batti said the royal decree “will positively impact the lives of Saudi women and motivate them to be more productive, hence contributing to the Saudi economy’s prosperity and to achieving Vision 2030, which aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce to 30 percent.” She said: “Driving a car isn’t an end, but a means to perform work.”

Driver Hanan Abdullah Al-Arfaj said that the lifting of the driving ban will help women be more independent and improve their role in society, be it through meeting their families’ needs or participating in the labor market.

“I encourage all women to get trained and obtain driving licenses so they can move freely without the need for a driver,” she added.

Women should be prepared for emergencies and other difficult circumstances that require driving a car and acting quickly, she said.

 

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Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

Updated 28 February 2020

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

  • OIC secretary-general notes that the organization continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups

JEDDAH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen announced on Wednesday that the OIC will adopt the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) after it is revised in accordance with international human-rights standards. The foreign ministers of the OIC member states are expected to approve the CDHRI at their meeting in Niamey, Niger in April.

 Al-Othaimeen was speaking at the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), held in Geneva on Wednesday, where he highlighted some of the efforts the OIC has made to fight racism and xenophobia — including Islamophobia — claiming that they are the result of “intellectual and political resistance to cultural pluralism.”

He said the OIC, in cooperation with its partners, has prepared “a comprehensive and consensual approach to address incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion.”

Al-Othaimeen’s speech, which was delivered on his behalf by OIC Geneva Permanent Representative Nassima Baghli, stressed that terrorism, including religious extremism, is a major source of concern for the international community. He pointed out that the OIC continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups and has established the Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Center, which focuses on addressing the ideological rhetoric of extremists.

His speech also reviewed the most common human-rights violations suffered by Muslims, referring to the detailed documentation from the UN’s own human rights bodies and the OIC of discrimination and violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

Al-Othaimeen explained that America’s actions in Palestine in recent months required the OIC to stress that any peace initiative between Israel and Palestine must be consistent with legitimate rights, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

He also stressed the OIC’s support for Kashmiris in their pursuit of their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with international resolutions and highlighted the OIC’s condemnation of Armenia’s continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven regions bordering Azerbaijan.