Advert for girls practice drivers in Saudi Arabia will get 28,000 candidates

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A job advert to recruit 30 feminine practice drivers in Saudi Arabia has attracted 28,000 candidates, highlighting the dimensions of pent up demand because the conservative kingdom opens up extra alternatives to women.

Spanish railway operator Renfe mentioned on Wednesday a web based evaluation of educational background and English language expertise had helped it to scale back the variety of candidates by round a half, and it might work by way of the remainder by mid-March.

The 30 chosen ladies will drive bullet trains between the cities of Mecca and Medina after a 12 months of paid coaching.

Renfe, which mentioned it was eager to create alternatives for girls in its native enterprise, presently employs 80 males to drive its trains in Saudi Arabia, and has 50 extra underneath instruction.

Job alternatives for Saudi ladies have till lately been restricted to roles akin to academics and medical staff, as they needed to observe strict gender segregation guidelines. Girls weren’t even allowed to drive within the kingdom till 2018.

Feminine participation within the workforce has almost doubled within the final 5 years to 33% amid a drive by the Saudi crown prince to open up the dominion and diversify the economic system, and girls at the moment are taking on jobs as soon as restricted to males and migrant staff.

However the proportion of ladies working within the kingdom was nonetheless round half that of males within the third quarter of final 12 months, at 34.1%, and feminine unemployment was properly over 3 times larger than for males, at 21.9%.

Saudi Arabia is highlighting progress on gender points at a time of scrutiny within the West over its human rights document, together with a crackdown on dissent that ensnared dozens of ladies’s rights activists and the 2018 homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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