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New Petition Seeks to Ban Women From Driving

Published Sep 20th 2007, 1:51pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Woman_driver_baby What would you do if your right to drive was revoked?

Driving a car spells FREEDOM, independence and convenience. My Mother did not drive until she was 40 years old, was a stay at home Mom and depended on my Father or others for all her transportation needs for many years. After she gained her independence to drive, my Mom went to work, built a 20 year career, retirement benefits and was able to participate in her own hobbies and activities fully. At 81 she drives herself to church, choir and bell choir practice and with my Father's diminishing health does much of their driving now.

Saudi women want the right to drive.

News Brief:

RIYADH, , 14 (UPI) -- Women in Saudi Arabia are banding together to press for the freedom to drive automobiles

The recently established League of Demanders of Women's Right to Drive Cars plans to deliver a petition to the king calling on him to restore their right to free movement by allowing them to drive, The Independent reported Friday.

The issue has been a matter of heated debate for many years. In 1990 a group of middle class women were arrested when they staged driving protests.

London-based Saudi political analyst Mai Yamani says reformist efforts to lift the barriers to women working mean little if they can't drive.

"You can't keep a woman locked up so she can't get out, drive her child to school." Yamani says. "I definitely believe it is time women were allowed to drive."


Women_parking_zone Equal treatment for women and men is a fundamental principle of international human rights standards. Yet in Saudi Arabia discriminatory practices against women are not only prevalent, they are also in some cases required by law.

Strict segregation of the sexes, an integral part of Saudi Arabian society, has adverse and unequal effects on women, who are denied equal educational opportunities and may work only in certain vocations. Women's freedom of movement is severely restricted. They may not travel abroad unless they have the written authorization of a male relative, usually their father or husband, and may have to be accompanied. Inside Saudi Arabia, they are forbidden to drive, a ban made official in 1990 by a Fatwa (edict) issued by the Council of Senior 'Ulama (religious scholars).

Interesting fact: Saudi Women Can Sell - Not Drive - Cars

"Saudi Arabia Saudi women still can't drive cars, but they can sell them. Potential buyers can go to an all-women showroom where, for the first time, other women will help them choose a car and answer questions about horsepower, carburetors and other automotive features.

Neither the saleswomen nor the female buyers can take the car out for a test drive because women are banned from driving in Saudi Arabia even though they have been allowed to own cars for decades and hire male drivers. Almost half the autos belong to women."

Check out this recent article for the full story.

In the US the right to drive is a privilege, much of the time taken for granted. What would you do if your right to drive was revoked?

Jodydevere Jody DeVere

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