Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saudi Women Defy Driving Ban

Yesterday dozens of women brave enough to defy the Saudi Arabian government's ban on women driving took to the roads. Why didn't thousands of women take to the road instead of dozens? Probably because of a warning from the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry claiming that the government would "fully and firmly" enforce the driving ban for women only. Women caught driving would be punished.

I still find this whole ban on allowing women to drive baffling despite this lack of freedom for women being completely ingrained into their culture tethered to religion. Influential and powerful clerics in this country warn that allowing women to drive will lead to increased freedom of movement for women and obviously (to these clerics) result in increase promiscuity and premarital sex. One prominent cleric even cited medical studies and proclaimed that women's ovaries are harmed by driving a car. Given the amount of driving that I've done my ovaries should have been destroyed decades ago.

Welcome to the 21st Century Saudi Arabian clerics! In a country that is promoting economic development and friendly ties to the West, most Westerners would be offended by this driving ban imposed on women.

Could you imagine living in a society where you could not drive a car because of your sex? You could not pick up your kids from school. You could not run errands. You could not hop in your car and meet friends for lunch. You could not drive yourself to work. Even if you are a man, imagine this. 

Realizing that they are up against a major religious and cultural change, I support empowering Saudi Arabian women to drive and hope these brave women continue their campaign.

1 comment:

Voice of Raison said...

Add that to the long list of things that religion has to answer for.

Remember, there is no such thing as a religious child. Only a child of religious parents. If only we could stop indoctrinating kids at an early age religious superstitions would die out within a generation.