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Saudi Women Lobby to Drive

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Posted on Sep 18, 2007
driving woman

Challenging their culture’s conservative gender laws, a group of Saudi Arabian women from the Committee of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars is preparing to petition King Abdullah to allow women to, well, drive cars.


The current driving ban applies to all women in Saudi Arabia, whatever their nationality.

It was originally unofficial, but became law after an incident in 1990, when 47 women challenged the authorities by taking their families’ cars out for a drive.

After strong criticism from the Saudi religious authorities, the women were jailed for one day, their passports confiscated and many lost their jobs.

A founding member of the Committee of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars, Fawzia al-Oyouni, said its electronic petition would highlight what many Saudi men and women consider a “stolen right”.

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By Zena, September 19, 2007 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, come on. Don’t kid yourself. It’s the rich people that get laws changed in the first place. As long as a particular subject doesn’t affect them or their families, they could care less. Once it starts hitting home for THEM…is when it starts changing. These are EXACTLY the kind of people it has to start with. The rich.

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By Mariam Russell, September 19, 2007 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These are rich women and parts of the “royal family” which makes up about a third of the population. While it would mark a bit of a change, I was not kidding with my first post. Also, though some of these rich women may get to drive,  as long as the Sauds rule with the help of the USA, any and all “rights” can be withdrawn singly or generally.

Also, any male member of a woman’s family can decide she has “dishonored” the family and kill or imprison her (I read about one who had been walled in for many years). So driving is a whim by some rich women…...questions of life and death would be of intrest to the rest of the women in SA.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, September 19, 2007 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Smoking, voting, driving for women was against the social norm in the U.S. a hundred years ago. 

I believe the effort will gain momentum there as it did here.

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By Zena, September 19, 2007 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I dissagree with you 1drees, in fact, it IS one indication that their society is ready to change and come into the 21 century. I’m sure you’re too young to remember just how barbaric America was before women got the right to vote, the right to own property INSTEAD of just BE some man’s property and pretty much ostracized from society if we came up pregnant without a husband. In fact, I see little difference between us then and them now. If women hadn’t got fed up enough to gather the courage to stand firm in the face of raw testosterone, we’d still be living like them. Just minus the burka. I’d bet a nickel that if they get to start driving the burka goes next! I give this article KuDos!

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By 1drees, September 19, 2007 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To a degree i agree with the character called “lilmamzer” for once IT is right, i dont think that driving is an issue that needs to be given so much coverage when the ZIONISTS are carrying out Genocides at massive scales, i mean whether one can drive or not is not that bad but au contraire a couple of ZIOISTIC GENOCIDES definately need to be looked into.
One can go to for details abotu the age old genocide in the terrorist state of Israel and then the new Genocide that the Zionists started in IRAQ and afghanistan by carryintg out false flag operations and then tricking the WOrld at large, definately a mater that need to be covered and condoned.

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By lilmamzer, September 19, 2007 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

Why does TruthDig waste space talking about this relatively benign aspect of Saudi Arab repression when there are so many more barbaric Saudi practices that need wider exposure?

Come on TruthDig, stop patronizing the most brutal society on the planet (outside of the Palestinian Arab areas, of course).

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By moe, September 18, 2007 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree, can you imagine if these women were allowed to drive? There would be fewer terrorist in the world. HA!

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By Margaret Currey, September 18, 2007 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course Saudi women should drive,but driving in a burka would be risky.

When I was young in the early 60’s men would yell out their windows for no reason woman driver get off the road, and I would ask them was something wrong with my driving, of course not, men want to have certain previledges and think that it should be forever, same as the right to work at the same job for less wages, that has been stopped somewhat, but what you now have are jobs just for women at lower wages, but getting back to the beginning women who can drive are less dependent on their husbands who has one job and that is to drive their wives, or leave them at home of course in the muslim societies the only people in coffee shops are men and tourists, but maybe there is some hope for thewomen.

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By Zena, September 18, 2007 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good for them! It seems that women are the ONLY ones who can really affect change, and that definitely INCLUDES America!

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By thomas billis, September 18, 2007 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They are putting off the decision to allow women to drive because they cannot figure out how to codify which one of the four wives gets to drive when.They are thinking of making it mandatory that each Saudi household must have four cars.Detroit is already forming a lobbying group in Saudi Arabia Mothers United For Gas Guzzlers{MUGGS}.They see it as the next lucrative market to dump there gas guzzling but profitable cars.

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By Mariam Russell, September 18, 2007 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Think I would be lobbying for the male members of my family to lose the right to kill my ass, if I pissed them off.

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By lilmamzer, September 18, 2007 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Maybe the Saudi Entity will drag itself into the 20th Century after all - more than a hundred years late, but better late than never.

Next up on the list for the <strike>Saudis</strike> Fraudis will be to allow foreign visitors to bring personal copies of whatever non-Koran holy books with them into the country without fear of confiscation by Fraudi religious police.

And the Fraudis can stop funding terrorism. ANd stop the enslavement of foreign workers toiling as doemstic servants in the <strike>homes</strike> palaces of the royal families.

The Oil Ticks need to be put out of business.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, September 18, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

I agree there are some people who should NEVER be allowed behind the wheel of a car or the keyboard of a computer for that matter, but the criteria sure isn’t their gender.

What astonishes me is how different cultures cherry pick from among the technological advances available declaring some acceptable and others not.

I guess it’s practise. Those who adhere to the various religions have been cherry picking which rules they want to enforce and which they’ll ignore for centuries.

The issue of drivers should begin with a psychological assessment to determine if the individual has the maturity and judgement to be in charge of a 2-ton lethal weapon.

Next should come prohibitions against ANYTHING that is likely to distract from the task of piloting the vehicle - dangly thingies from the rear view mirror, thumping bass and screaming stereos, cell phone use, eating, drinking & drugs, and… WEARING OF BURKAS. Sorry, Muslim women - being draped in fabric limits your ability to see and move. Wanna drive? Lose the headgear.

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By 1drees, September 18, 2007 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well its about time that someone started making some sense in the stupid kingdom BUT note it was certainly not due to external interference by another governement. hope that these people are able to make a few good changes in their land.

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