In this file photo taken on April 29, 2018, a Saudi woman practices reversing a car in Riyadh ahead of the lifting of a ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia in the summer. / AFP / Yousef DOUBISI
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The end of a decades-old female driving ban is expected to bring an economic windfall for millions of Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business.Saudi women are severely under-represented in the job market, with a staggering 31 percent unemployment rate among the female workforce.Dubai-based PWC Middle East Consultancy estimates that by 2020, the number of Saudi female drivers will reach 3 million, in addition to Saudi Arabia's 9.5 million male drivers. The kingdom has a population of 32 million people, including 12 million expatriates, according to official figures.Car sales are expected to grow by 9 percent annually until 2025 as more women get behind the wheel, compared to 3 percent annual growth in the past four years, PWC said. Saudi Arabia spends more than 25 billion riyals on the annual salaries of around 1.38 million foreign private drivers, according to official figures.
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