Saudi Arabia – Each year, Effat University, the first non-profit educational institution specialized in offering higher education for girls in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, celebrates International Women’s Day by adopting a theme that highlights the university’s commitment to women’s empowerment. For IWD 2018, the university celebrated the historic royal decree allowing women to obtain a license to drive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by hosting a course for safe driving by Ford.
To prepare women for the upcoming implementation of the ruling to allow Saudi women to drive, the initiative selected by the university was the Ford Safe Driving Education Course (DSFL For Her), a customized introductory program taught by certified trainers on a closed course to build women’s confidence behind the wheel and instill safe driving practices.
“Our annual celebration of International Women’s Day was of special significance this year because 2018 is likely to go down in history as the Year of the Saudi Woman, due to welcome reforms that better enable women to play their part in the Kingdom’s socio-economic development and contribute to the realization of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030,” said Dr. Haifa Jamal AlLail, President of Effat University.
“Now that the long-held dream of independent mobility through driving is at last coming true, we hosted Ford’s “Driving Skills For Life For Her” training course to help keep women drivers safe when they take to the roads.”
Making its global debut at Effat University from 5 to 8 March 2018, the Ford DSFL For Her program trained 64 students per day in groups of four, with each student training for 1:45 hours per session to complete their journey.
Effat University, in collaboration with Ford Motor company, concluded the Ford DSFL For Her program with a celebration attended by representatives by both parties, including Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, President of Effat University, and Mr. Jim Vella, President of Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, and guests from the community. At this celebration, the 64 trainees were honored and given certificates of completion of the program.
The past 10 years have seen tremendous progress in the number of women working in Saudi Arabia, with many occupying management positions. More and more women are part of the decision-making process in the public and private sectors, so much so that Forbes Middle East named nine Saudi women to its 2017 list of the 100 Most Powerful Arabian Businesswomen. These Saudi women will definitely benefit from the mobility given to them by driving.
Responding to the Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020, Effat University is playing an active role by creating the right platform to inspire a new generation of female graduates and providing them with an opportunity to realize their full potential through specialized courses designed to fulfill the changing needs of Saudi Arabia’s job market and help the overall development of the country.