Sheffield driving instructor helping Saudi women get behind the wheel 

An online support network for finally free women in Saudi Arabia has been launched by a Sheffield based driving instructor.

There were high spirits in June 2018 when the leader of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, issued a decree and uplifted the ban held on women who wanted a driving license stopping it being the only country to still have a ban.

The celebrations even reached the Woodseats community as Moira Benson, 52, of Hackthorn Road rejoiced with her ‘Saudi Sisters’ by taking to social media to interact with the new drivers.

Mrs Benson said: “I was so happy to learn that Saudi Arabian men were finally supporting daughters, wives and sisters to learn to drive. I came late to driving myself so I can understand how Saudi women have missed out on learning when they came of age.”

Mrs Benson said that she wants to be a source of encouragement, guidance and education for the new drivers by making and sharing a range of videos and tutorials.

“There’s some that are starting from scratch, I think learning to drive opens up new opportunities for jobs and for personal and family life”, she said.

“For Saudi women, driving means being able to go out without the family driver. I feel a sense of fulfilment in teaching them.”

Councillor Bob Pullin thought any scheme like this in one in Woodseats scheme was “excellent”.

He said: “On a personal level, I am a former lecturer in comparative education and have worked with institutions abroad for months at a time. I am very supportive of any social, international collaborations like this one. You can’t help anything by arguing from the outside.”

To date her online content for building confident female drivers in Saudi Arabia has reached out to over 150 women. When she can’t offer them advice online Mrs Benson helps women find drving tuition in Saudi Arabia.

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