10 Reasons Saudi Women Should Be Allowed To Drive

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women from driving. BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel reported this week that activists are launching a new campaign to lift the ban.

1. Freedom of movement is a basic human right

More than 11,000 people have signed the petition since it was posted online last week.

2. There is no legal ground to ban women from driving

Saudi Justice Minister said in April there is no constitutional or regulatory barriers to prevent women from driving in Saudi Arabia

3. Religion has nothing to do with it

“Islamic Sharia does not have a text forbidding women driving,” Sheikh Abdulatif al-Alsheikh, chief of Saudi religious police, told Reuters last week.

4. Saudi King Abdullah said he supports women right to drive

The king told Barbarah Walters of ABC News in 2005: “I believe strongly in the rights of women … my mother is a woman, my sister is a woman, my daughter is a woman, my wife is a woman. I believe the day will come when women drive. In fact, if you look at the areas in Saudi Arabia, the deserts and in the rural areas, you will find that women do drive The issue will require patience. In time, I believe it will be possible.”

5. Hiring a private driver is costly

A local newspaper estimated that the wages of private drivers sometimes account for nearly half the amount of a female employee’s monthly income

6. Some drivers have hygiene issues

Translation:

@_ohouds_: How can I tell my driver that his B.O. is killing me! It is reaching me in the backseat!

@noufixxo: He smells bad, his B.O. is bad and he is wearing yesterday’s clothes. Why would he need an hour in the bathroom after waking up, I don’t know!!!!!!!

Eww.

7. Women need to get to work

Lack of transportation is a main hurdle to decrease the high unemployment rate among Saudi women which reached 36 percent last year.

8. Women are far safer drivers than men

Just ask the insurance companies.

9. There are many other important issues Saudi women need to tackle

Saudi women live under male guardianship rules that put many restrictions on their lives. The judiciary still does not recognize them. Women need to get the driving ban out of the way so they can deal with the bigger issues of inequality.

10. To stop Shams from making horrible music like this

While it’s nice of the Saudi-Kuwaiti singer to lend her support to the cause, this is a terrible song. If the ban on driving is not lifted she will continue to make music like that and everyone will suffer.

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