News Karnataka
Friday, March 31 2023

Women driving freely can boost economy, says Saudi Prince Alwaleed

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Riyadh: Women groups fighting world over for their rights have found a new good companion in the conservative Muslim kingdom who is willing to go an extra mile for women’s cause by giving them a ‘free hand at wheels’.

“Let women drive” is all he said in his twitter comment.

He linked economics to his comment, when he wrote a four-page letter, posted on his personal website. According to him, foreign women drivers are paid around 1000 dollars to take Saudi women around. The cash outflows can be blocked by giving opportunity to Saudi women. When oil prices are ruling low, this move will help boost Saudi economy to a great extent.

Prince Alwaleed, who made the comments, is not in the government, but active in construction and hotel business with stakes in the west including US and Europe.

Prince Alwaleed battling for Saudi women rights had rape accusations against him in 2008 which were later dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Reports suggest that there may be a few takers for his suggestions.

Deputy crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salaam is not convinced by prince Alwaleed’s statements as he foresees resistance in society as a major obstacle.

Prince Alwaleed did not prefer Trump as US president, and at one stage wanted the Republican to withdraw from the race.

However, after Trump’s victory sportive prince Alwaleed sent a congratulatory message, wishing him good years in Presidency.

Saudi women, presently can exercise their franchise and contest in elections. Efforts to include them in the workforce may not materialise though the kingdom is trying to diversify from oil economy and rely less on foreign manpower to provide jobs for Saudi nationals.

On the flip-side none want to discard prince Alwaleed’s ‘message’ in a liberalised world which rather believes in ‘Chewing, till it turns bitter’.

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