Saudi Woman Driving
Image: © Al Arabiya English

Saudi women drivers will add $90 billion to the economy, estimates say

To the shops! To the job centre! To the airport!

As of Saturday, Saudi women are officially allowed to drive. It's an exciting moment for human rights – but also for the economy.

What it means: Driving is pretty liberating, if you think about it. Being able to drive in Saudi Arabia means you can go out whenever you want – shopping, travelling, to a restaurant – and crucially, you can work in any of the countless jobs that involve driving, from cab driver to delivery person.

Only 20 per cent of women in Saudi Arabia are earning or managing money at the moment, compared to 42 per cent in the region as a whole.

Economists estimate that this change will add about $90 billion worth of activity to Saudi Arabia's economy, the equivalent of selling off 5% of their (huge) oil reserves. That does include the value of all the extra gas these women's cars will guzzle as they drive around to their heart's content.

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  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?