High prices for training courses have led to the start of an online campaign.

It’s just a few weeks until women in Saudi Arabia will legally be allowed to take the wheel.

King Salman’s historic royal decree, allowing females to be issued driving licences in the kingdom, will come into force in June 2018.

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However, ahead of the reform officially beginning, women have been highlighting the rather pricey fees being charged to complete their required hours of driving.

 

Women hoping to gain their first driving licence will have to attend compulsory training courses, an official from the kingdom confirmed last year, with those who have experience behind the wheel required to undertake 30 hours of training.

Those with no motoring experience must attend a 90-hour training course.

saudi woman motorbike

According to ELLE US, a one-hour driving lesson for women costs between 60 and 75 riyals (Dhs58 to Dhs73), meaning females could be paying up to 6,750 riyals (Dhs6,610) to get the number of hours required.

In a bid to help women get on the roads without having to shell out on 90 hours’ training, Twitter users in the kingdom have taken to the social platform.

“Are there any volunteers who are ready to train others to drive for free? (And the training will be after Ramadan because we don’t want any trouble with the law and the training will be in parking lots away from crowded places),” Hanaa Aldhafery posted last week.

The hashtag (which translates to #IAmReadyToTrainYou) has started gaining traction online, with many Twitter uses offering up their services.

“I started the hashtag because I want to help other girls learn how to drive perfectly,” Aldhafery told ELLE.

“Because if a girl went to a driving training centre without experience they will charge her more.”

The driving licence reform comes as part of the kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030, a post-oil economy plan under which the government aims to increase the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 23 per cent to 28 per cent by 2020.

The initiative, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to make Saudi a more modern, tourist-friendly destination.

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Under the plans, women will be able to attend sports events in stadiums in three cities from this year, and female students in the kingdom are now allowed to carry their phones while on campus.

Additionally, more Saudi females have been appointed to top jobsa royal directive allowed women to use certain government services without a male guardian’s consent, and recent approval was issued for the go-ahead of women’s gyms.

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Images: Getty