Kuwait shows respect for Saudi women driving ban

Last Thursday, Brig. Saleh Al-Najim, the head of a Kuwaiti delegation, stated that out of respect for the Saudi ban on women driving, his country will make the exception of not issuing driving licenses to Saudi women until they provide proof of their male guardian’s permission. I’m shocked and disappointed that the Kuwaiti government would exploit how politically weak Saudi women are to gain favor. But that isn’t why I’m writing this post. I’m writing it because this particular tactic of expressing an opinion about a sovereign nation’s internal laws by altering yours is something that has occurred to me before. A few years back I either dreamed or read somewhere that a politician proposed to the European Union that Saudi men not be allowed to drive in the EU until they end the ban on women driving in Saudi. Judging by the last Olympics, that type of restriction on Saudi men could actually work in making a change. How weird would it be for those banning people from driving their hard-earned cars because of their gender to have a taste of their own medicine? 



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26 responses to “Kuwait shows respect for Saudi women driving ban

  1. If this ever becomes some kind of petition I will happily sign.

  2. It does not surprise me that the “old boys’ club” of leaders in the Gulf and other places would support each other in the oppression of women, they all oppress, so nobody wants to break ranks and topple the house of cards that is male domination. But Kuwait’s action seems to be no more than toadying to its more powerful Saudi neighbours. Terrific idea if it would be practical to enforce a ban on male Saudi drivers in EU and other countries. Then these patriarchal types would be humiliated into having to accept that their wives and daughters can drive while they cannot. Oh the horror, the shame, the wounds to the delicate egos of Saudi men. The very idea that this might/could happen made my day!

    • Ali Alyami Saudi women are globally well-known poets, computer scientists, cancer research geniuses, Mount Everest climber, jet pilots and brain sergeants, but not good enough to be respected and treated as equal citizens in their homeland. Saudi women excel in schools, the workplace, in social interactions and economic teachings and analysis. Tragically, none of this matter to their government, religious establishment and to most of their countrymen.

      The most recent appeal to Saudi men (or any men) by a Saudi writer to attack and molest working women reflects the general attitude of a society and a system that praise themselves as god loving and superior Muslims and blame others for moral decadence. http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/working-women-should-be-molested-saudi-writer-1.1189861

      • And it is always the woman’s fault. Blamed not only by men, but sadly, also by some women, when an infraction of the smothering regulations of the virtue and vice zealots is detected by them or their spies. The abaya is an appropriate metaphor for the cloak of claustrophobia.that enshrouds women, thereby allowing the whole society, as you say, Ali H. Alyami, to smugly lie to itself, “we are God-loving and superior Muslims” and we men keep our women in chains of bondage and dependency to prove it. We men don’t care how brilliant the women are, we want them completely under our control to assuage our own sense of being powerless in this theocracy. So, if we cannot fight the people who also oppress us, we will take our revenge by oppressing others, the mothers, sisters, wives and daughters in our lives..

  3. Nadia

    LOL! Would you believe I suggested the same thing to my husband while discussing the women2drive campaign two years ago? Except I suggested the USA and not the EU. It’ll never happen though as those countries have laws against discrimination, unlike some other places 😛
    But hey, it made me smile 🙂

  4. Maxwell Ryder

    I am not shocked. They are of the same blood as Saudis, regardless of what kind of laws they do or do not have similar to Saudi Arabia. They are not trying to curry favor. I don’t follow Saudi law to curry favor with Saudis. There is no compulsion in making nations do what is just or unjust, for that in itself is the expression of sovereignty, and the nation’s collective right to do what it wants.

  5. She respect for discriminatory and denigrating policies? Why am I not surprised by the “Yes Uncle” Emirs of Kuwait behavior?

  6. BAHAR

    it is truly sick, i am sorry – i have no words for it.
    i still dont understand what my gender has to do with driving a car – but i guess Saudis just simply now better then the rest of the world.

    • Ponder

      Just think!!! what does sharia say? After all as believers we claim to be guided by it don’t we? Have your licence if it’s so precious, but does sharia allow you to leave the house as you please? The life in the hereafter is much better than this world

  7. stunned

    The Impunity of the

  8. THe JUdges IN THe NAme Of GOD

    The Impunity of a Whole Society; THe FIlthy SUmmoners, that what they are,
    { “Squire Nigel,” said the Abbot, “it was for you, who are, as all men know, of ancient lineage in this land, to give a fair example by which others should set their conduct. Instead of this, your manor house has ever been a center for the stirring up of strife, and now not content with your harsh showing toward us, the Cistercian monks of Waverley, you have even marked your contempt for the King’s law, and through your servants have mishandled the person of his messenger. For such offenses it is in my power to call the spiritual terrors of the Church upon your head, and yet I would not be harsh with you, seeing that you are young, and that even last week you saved the life of a servant of the Abbey when in peril. Therefore, it is by temporal and carnal means that I will use my power to tame your overbold spirit, and to chasten that headstrong and violent humor which has caused such scandal in your dealings with our Abbey. Bread and water for six weeks from now to the Feast of Saint Benedict, with a daily exhortation from our chaplain, the pious Father Ambrose, may still avail to bend the stiff neck and to soften the hard heart.”“Nay, comrades!” said he. “Samkin Aylward cannot stand by and see a gallant man shot down like a bull at the end of a baiting. Five against one is long odds; but two against four is better, and by my finger-bones! Squire Nigel and I leave this room together, be it on our feet or no.”}.

  9. I was really shocked when i read the news. Kuwait has been known as one of the most countries who would support women!!! but we could consider it as a sign of the strong relationship of the two countries and as a bad sign of how strong is the Islamic party their!!
    Any way, Saudi woman can have their own driving licenses from UAE and Bahrain.

  10. Sandy

    You also need Saudi government permission to put Saudi children in Emirati schools. The GCC leadership sticks together.

  11. wheelchairwiz

    Women around the world drive. Why can’t the Saudi’s see they are so far behind in their logic? It’s time to for change. Saudi women should be allowed to drive as long as they pass a road test. I fail to see why they are denied a basic human right.

  12. Kaveri Nameera

    I believe the men here have very low self esteemed so they need to put down their women to feel empowered themselves. There is no other explanation for the crazy rules on women here. I do not believe the Holy Quran states that women cannot drive too!!! They are scared their women will overtake them in all fields if they allow them to be themselves and so they trap them in ‘home’ prisons!

  13. This reminds me of all the GCC countries supporting Iraq in its unprovoked invasion of Iran.

  14. BN

    This really seems to be an “eye for an eye” approach to reaching a resolution. I feel that banning the Saudi men from driving in the EU would only anger them more and create more restrictions for Saudi women- after all- what control do Saudi men have over the EU? None as far as I am aware which means that their aggression and anger would be turned to the people whose lives they run; the Saudi women.

    But it does interest me to see how placing such a ban on males would affect their psyche and perception of self-importance… perhaps they would feel so defeated having a “right” taken from them that they may consider change.

    • Therese Rickman-Bull

      Interesting last question BN. Only problem is that ordinary Saudi men do not make Saudi law, The only “right” Saudi men are “allowed” is to dominate and oppress women. They thus become complicit with the authorities, Specifically with Wahhabi clerics who distort Islamic teaching in order to terrorize and subdue the population into accepting the absence of human rights under the theocratic form of government that exists in Saudi, that is mosque and state are fused, akin to what also passes for a governing apparatus in Iran. Mind control or group think are hall-marks of theocracies, There is a neat symbiosis between religious and temporal rulers, for to go against the lack of rights under the civil rulers is invariably portrayed as breaking some Wahhabi-brand religious laws or tenets, something that Saudis have been conditioned to avoid. The Wahhabis do not like women, they fear them, so they have been allowed to also distort whatever Saudi civil law exists in order to make the life of a woman so contorted and restricted that a good metaphor to describe it would be the bound feet of upper-class Chinese women a hundred years ago and more. Chinese women suffered excruciating pain, the bones in their feet were not allowed to grow normally. Like birds in gilded cages, the women were thus confined to their homes for their entire lives, virtual prisoners unless carried out by family members. It sounds depressingly similar to the lot of Saudi women today. In the 21st century this would be laughable if it were not so tragic. But it does not have to be the case. China at least has left those horrible practices behind as it races ahead, utilizing the talents and labour of both male and female citizens to make it the economic power-house it is today.

  15. just out of curiosity, how come no articles on the murder of Rizana Nafeek?

  16. Keep driving, Saudi women!

  17. Pingback: F.A.Q. About the Saudi Women Driving Dan | Saudiwoman's Weblog

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