how do women get around?

One of the responses I received on my Women’s driving post was the question of how women get around here. The simple answer is “they don’t” – hehhee, just kidding. Let me list the constraints and the options:

  • Women cannot drive themselves
  • There is no public transportation

So what do they actually do?

  • They have personal chauffeurs
  • Their fathers/husbands/brothers/sons/uncles act as chauffeurs
  • They use taxis (preferably driven by non-saudis)
  • They use limo services with scheduled drop-offs and pick-ups (preferably driven by non-saudis)
  • They use shuttle buses with designated routes, drop-offs and pick-ups if they live on compounds
  • Some educational institutions have their own bus services that pick up and drop-off students.
  • They carpool and travel in “packs”

As you might have realized, if a woman comes from a wealthy family, or is an expat wife, she has easy options through hired help. If from a middle-class family, she has to fight for limited resources with the rest of her family. As for the lower income households, they really do not have many options for getting around.

Of course the next question is, where could they do even if they could travel freely?

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