Kyle Johnson
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Ford Driving Skills for Life Saudi Arabia Hosts Men and Women at the Same Time

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Ford Driving Skills for Life Saudi Arabia
Ford Driving Skills for Life Saudi Arabia put women and men on the same campus at the same time
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Say what you want about Saudi Arabia. No, really. Please. Go ahead. There’s a ton you can dive into about its cruel, barbarous regime. But you have to admit that the KSA government has, to some teensy-weensy extent made, an effort to move the country in a more progressive direction with its Vision 2030 plan. Part of that plan involves the gradual allowance of women’s rights, including granting them to right to drive in June of last year.

Ford has been there for a large part of the way, helping grant the dreams of women who wished to own Mustangs, offering to pay women’s licensing fees, and offering training and instruction through its Ford Driving Skills for Life program. Fittingly, the recent Ford Driving Skills for Life session at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal marked a new first in the country. The event saw, for the first time ever, men and women participating in courses on the same campus at the same time.

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Now before you go getting all excited about the idea of men and women being able to learn alongside one another harmoniously, it should be said that they merely shared proximity. Newly licensed male drivers took part in the Driving Skills for Life course proper while women took part in an adjacent DSFL for Her course. But, hey: baby steps! Next stop, not mass-executing 37 civilians, most of whom belong to a religious sect that is heavily discriminated against by the regime in power, after extracting confessions primarily via torture!

Both courses focused largely on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, as a report from the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization says that more than 160,000 crashes in Saudi Arabia result from distraction by mobile device.

“To reach Vision 2030’s target of a year-over-year decrease in road fatalities, road users need to have instilled in them the best safe-driving practices,” said Simonetta Verdi, Director, Government and Community Relations, Ford Middle East and Africa. “Ford Driving Skills for Life helps provide just that.”

Driving Skills for Life for Her provided training for more than 200 Saudi women in 2018.

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