More than 28,000 women have applied for 30 locomotive driver jobs in Saudi Arabia.
The Spanish rail company Renfe recently advertised 30 jobs for female train drivers in Saudi Arabia. These are to drive high-speed trains between the cities of Mecca and Medina in the future.
A group of Saudi women who began training earlier this year to become Saudi Arabia's first female train driver have started working as taxi apprentices on the Al-Haramain Bullet Train (HHR). As part of the second phase, the 31 women will be in the cab alongside experienced train drivers over the next five to six months, according to Spanish company Renfe, the largest shareholder in the consortium that manages the Mecca and Medina high-speed rail. their projects.
Since the training started in March, the group has completed 483 hours of theoretical training, including basic knowledge of railways, traffic safety regulations and technical courses. Renfe and the Saudi Railway Polytechnic (SRP) are responsible for the training, and together they have trained more than 130 Saudi nationals over the past nine years. Saudi Arabia's call for female train drivers has caused a stir across the kingdom, with around 28,000 women jumping at the chance to potentially drive trains. From this cohort, 145 were selected for face-to-face interviews and only 34 entered the first phase of training. Of the 31 graduates of the theoretical part of the training, 70% have a university degree. For male interns currently in the recruitment and training phase, the figure is only 30%.
According to Spanish Transport Minister Sanchez, the company deliberately chose female train drivers because this is an important step toward greater equality in Saudi Arabia. Women still have fewer rights there than men. The royal family there rules according to traditional social concepts and fundamentalist views, as human rights organizations have criticized for many years.
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