‘Society’ is no longer an excuse for Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving

My piece for Amnesty’s Livewire:

w2d

If there was one word to describe what it is like to be a Saudi woman, it would be the word patronizing. No matter how long you live, you remain a minor in the eyes of the government.

In Saudi Arabia we take patriarchy to the extreme. The fact that the culture, like many others around the world, is male-dominated is not the major challenge. The real challenge is that the government has allowed this patriarchy to dictate how it deals with citizens. To read more, CLICK HERE…

 

11 Comments

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11 responses to “‘Society’ is no longer an excuse for Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving

  1. From reading my English language Koran or Quoran I go to “Women 4.34,
    “Men have authority over women because ALLAH made one superior to the others….etc. From the whole chapter women are deserving of kindness,chivalry and graciousness but not of equality. That appears to me to be a bit stronger than being patronising. Like Christianity, Islam is a beautiful religion expanded and changed to suit the the desert times of its origin. Lets face it,, it was easier to execute or flog someone than to build big prisons especially the luxurious ones we have in western countries. To disallow a woman to drive a car is not always wise.. My wife is a far better driver than I.She is more careful and has better concentration and looks to see what the other driver is likely to do. May your freedom be the freedom you want as an individual. Generally my wife is far wiser and more talented than I. Tony

    • Shawn

      Let’s be fair though — all religions have both their ‘nice’ parts and their ‘not so nice’ parts. The ‘not so nice’ parts are usually the ones that were appropriate back in the bronze age, but not in the 21st century. Calling any religion ‘beautiful’ is a gesture of respect, but it contains the danger of ignoring the many bad aspects of many religions — ie. failing to realize that we are all human beings with equal rights and equal aspirations. The Muslim child who lives in Gaza is of equal worth to the Buddhist child who lives in Tibet or the Christian child who lives in Italy.

  2. Raf

    freedom for Saudi Arabia and down pro Israel corrupt monarchy…

  3. Shawn

    I hope the driving issue is resolved peacefully — Saudi women should have equal rights with Saudi men. However, I understand that you have a very conservative culture as well; it must be a very interesting time to live in Saudi Arabia with the clash between old and new ways of thinking. Best wishes and keep safe.

  4. Hope that the Muslim Saudi Government Authorities, Muslim Religious Police, Muslim licensed and/or non-licensed vigilantes do not attempt to chase women who will attempt to drive on 26th October, Because recently on the Saudi Arabian National Day, 23 Sept. 2013 (83 Years of Saudi), The Saudi Government Muslim Religious Police “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” chased two young men (Brothers) in a deadly car chase which ended with the two young men getting killed in a horrific accident, while being allegedly rammed (And/Or Terrorized) by the religious police they plunged to their death in their vehicle from the top of a flyover bridge. And the chase was caught on camera by another chase vehicle (See Youtube), and the members of the religious police fled the scene. Now, What will be the verdict ?, whereas this is one of an increasing number of cases by which the chasing religious police cause men and couples to fatally crash. Bearing in mind that the Saudi Government – rather recently – proclaimed that it forbid the religious police from chasing vehicles.

  5. Ron

    Watch this wonderful song about women driving in KSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZMbTFNp4wI

  6. Maxwell Ryder

    If it happens, I fear for women’s lives. I really do. Those same police that are jailing them are gonna have to turn around and learn to protect them when they get surrounded on the freeway in the middle of nowhere, or even in the middle of the city. It’s another chance in human history for men to demonstrate whether they are men or pigs, and if they beat the women (or worse), or choose to change the spare tires when they blow in the middle of summer on Dammam Road. Cuz ain’t no woman gonna be changing them – the abaya and niqab won’t let them. I also anticipate, along with the problems, there will also be some good to result. Maybe there will be some marriage proposals that comes out of tire-changing.

  7. Reblogged this on Annelie on asthma, humor, and the world. and commented:
    Every woman around the globe driving should share this. I drive both car and busses.

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