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Ban on Women Driving in Saudi Arabia

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Despite having driving experience and the willingness to participate in driving, women are highly prohibited from driving in the Saudi kingdom. A number of reasons have been given from various sources. Some sources explain that, it is more concerned with religion which prohibits women to take part in a man’s role. This is strongly opposed by Islam, which is the dominant religion in Saudi Arabia. This article tries to give an insight into the views of various sources concerning the ban.

Views of BBC

According to BBC interview on a 25 year-old Saudi man, Doumato stipulates that, they do not like seeing women drivers. He gives his version of beliefs by saying that,  he did not like girls showing too much of their bodies while driving. He also says the girls wear a lot of short skirts which prevent them from being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia Viewpoint: Saudi Women Should Not Drive. This is because; Saudi Arabia is where Islamic culture and beliefs are strongest. He says, generations that were raised watching Gossip Girls and, other types of series are the worst affected since, they cannot leave that lifestyle. Moreover, such girls are allowed to drive, they are likely to misbehave further in future. For instance, taking of their covering gown and veil or asking to be allowed to drive in their short skirts.

Consequently, the sentence of 10 lashes that was given to the woman who was found driving in the streets was not enough, adding that, if he offended one in a shopping mall, he was more likely to get more lashes than that. He also advocates for allowing women to vote because they are likely to elect people who contribute to better heath care, improve education and improve jobs. However, he explains that Western countries such as the US should respect their culture.

Views of Aljazeera

According to report from Aljazeera, a campaign is ongoing to defy the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. In addition, it has been found that, a number of women are starting to participate in driving irrespective of the ban. Nonetheless, the people in the front of this protest are activists who have asked for mass protests in any place as well as urging Saudi women to being a strike against the rules that prohibits them from driving (Rashti, 2003). Those who happen to have their driving licenses from abroad have been asked to continue with their errands irrespective of the ban. There have also been web messages on Twitter and other social websites carrying unconfirmed reports that some women participated in driving in the Eastern city of Dammam and other places.

Fox news views

Consequently, this article reports that, the ban on female drivers in Saudi Arabia can be referred to as ‘eroding’. This is because; a girl is not allowed to exercise her skills and competence simply because the rule dictates like that. Those who have the licenses are not allowed to take part in driving because they are girls (Doumato, 2000). This prevents them from assisting their families in times of need. For instance, a girl whose brother and father had been involved in serious burns in Riyadh was criticized for driving them to the hospital instead of being congratulated. This is irrespective of the rescue she had done to the father and brother. The nurses at the hospital simply became annoyed by her as the driver.

In conclusion, the article reports that women who have been involved in the campaign against the ban have paid heavily for it. In November, 1990, during the raid of Saudi Arabia by the US troops after invasion of Iraq and Kuwait, a number of women drove family cars in anti-ban protest. They were jailed for a day and their passports confiscated and, they lost their jobs. This prevented subsequent protests against the ban until recently.

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