For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia will set up schools to teach women how to drive.
Already, King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah and Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh have announced plans to launch driving programs for women, in the wake of the kingdom's landmark decision to grant women driver's licenses.
Instructions at the schools will be in line with international standards, in conjunction with a royal decree allowing women in the kingdom to drive, according to Arab News.
Training women in car maintenance
In addition to driving schools, the kingdom has plans to establish programs to train women in car maintenance.
According to Saudi Gazette, special women's vehicles maintenance centers will be established, where women will assist female drivers. Many private and governmental sectors will invest in this field, organizing courses in cooperation with global technical institutes to train women in car repair and maintenance, identifying a vehicle's main parts, identifying road and signal systems and emergency maintenance.
However, some in the vehicle maintenance industry don't expect a dramatic shift in terms of women entering the field.
"I do not expect women driving will create major changes in the car maintenance field as some expect, because the trade is one that does not attract women," Mohammed Omar Kabli, a member of the Committee for Car Workshops at Jeddah Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said.
"You rarely see women mechanics in other parts of the world."
The landmark decree was issued in September
The royal decree granting women the right to drive was issued and made public at the end of September, ending the long-standing policy that had been criticized by international campaigners and women’s groups.
The royal decree mandated the creation of a ministerial body to give advice on the practicalities of the order within 30 days and a full implementation of the order by June 2018.
Signed by King Salman, the order said that the traffic laws would be amended in order to allow the government to issue driver’s licenses for men and women.
"I think our leadership understands our society is ready," Prince Khalid Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, said at the time.