The historic lifting of Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving cars will have far-reaching effects ranging from economic to social. An evaluation by the Reuters news agency suggests a significant economic boost to industries such as automobile manufacturers, rental companies and insurance companies. While the sudden loss of income – in the billions of dollars – to hundreds of thousands of chauffeurs employed to transport women now, analysts see a windfall of disposable income now available for a variety of uses. Some 400,000 women are expected to be available now to join the work force. But for the soon-to-be-unemployed drivers, it will be a severe blow. Most of them are citizens of the Philippines and Asian nations who are in the kingdom to earn money to send to family back home. Lower income Saudi families will benefit from the chauffeurs’ loss. According to Reuters, it remains to be seen just how significant the economic bump will be – if there is one at all after the opposing forces equalize.
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