In 2000, Saudi Arabia established its Human Resources Development Fund (HDRF, also known as Hadaf) with the goal of providing financial support to organizations that train and qualify Saudis in the private sector. As part of its objectives, the fund launched Wusool, a program that provides affordable, subsidized transportation solutions enabling working women in Saudi Arabia to travel to and from work, and ultimately encouraging their contribution towards the country’s socio-economic progress, in line with the goals and objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
This month, it is being reported that since Wusool was established, 40,000 Saudi women have benefitted from the program, according to Saudi Press Agency, based on a recent statement made by Hadaf. The statement also highlighted that the number of trips by female beneficiaries of the program has exceeded 8 million to date. In the near future, the program is looking to make key amendments that will lead to the increase in the number of women who can benefit from Wusool. According to the news site, these amendments will include conditions for joining the program and registering in the social insurance system.
In May of this year, ride-sharing giant Uber announced a strategic partnership with Takamol Holding, the company that operates Wusool. This partnership meant that Saudi women between the ages of 18 and 65 are eligible to apply to the program, and based on certain set criteria, they can receive partially subsidized Wusool rides on the Uber app within the Kingdom.
HRDF also launched another beneficial program named Qurrah, which is a national childcare initiative supported by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, designed to provide mothers working in the private sector with childcare facilities, care centers, and nurseries, so they can remain in work. According to Haddaf’s website, the program also allows mothers who are seeking jobs in the Saudi labor market to enroll their children in the childcare facilities.