Friday, June 17, 2011

Saudi women's long journey from back seat to front seat

 June 17th is here and Saudi women will start driving their cars!
The last time Saudi women sat in the drivers seat was in a protest back in 1990.

I'm so excited about this and wish I could participate but this is a cause for the Saudi women to fight themselves. They don't need help from foreigners; they can do it their selves! And they need to show the men in this country that it can and will be done. Women in Saudi-Arabia will sit in the driver's seat. No more suffering from nasty drivers and running after taxis!

The main reason why Saudi women haven't driven so far is fear. Fear from the women's side that something awful will happen to them and fear of going against the law. But after Manal Alsherif's example women have become more confident and determined that now is the time to end the ban on women driving. Manal was not arrested for driving but they charged her for other reasons. Saudi men on the other hand fear giving their women rights equal to theirs. They are literally afraid of setting their women free.

But why are some Saudi men so afraid of their women? Because they have all reasons to! Saudi women are intelligent, creative, determined, educated and ambitious. If given equal opportunities in the labor market, the women might be better at some jobs that men now hold, or even become their bosses! Some insecure Saudi men could not handle that.

Why was there a ban in the first place? Women driving cars is not haram (forbidden). There is no proof of this from Quran or Hadith, it's actually quite the contrary. However the late sheikh Bin Baz said it is haram and even went and issued a fatwa(religious ruling) on it. On a side note, this is the same sheikh that issued a fatwa saying Saudi men studying abroad can marry a western woman with the intention of divorcing her when he leaves back to KSA. I think this says enough of this dudes respect for women and all humanity and how seriously his rulings should or should not be taken.

Saudi women have started driving as we speak. Some poor insecure Saudi men must be peeing their pants. They can no longer control the women's movements like before! Some loosers even started a campaign on Facebook calling for the beating of women who dare to start driving! What weaklings. Really I feel sorry for men like this who don't even have the balls to let their womenfolk drive cars. Seriously I even feel a bit sorry for them.. No wait-I don't!

Some spineless men try to desperately convince themselves that women driving is "not important" or "insignificant to women's rights" etc nonsense, saying that there are other much more important issues that need to be solved. Well here's a newsflash for you men out there: By saying women driving is such a small insignificant thing, you are actually making it a big deal. Because if you really thought it's so unimportant then why do you even care if women started driving? Since you think women driving in KSA is secondary to other causes why not solve it then and get it out of the way of the more important issues like the unjustice justice system, slavery mahrem system, or unemployment issues.

Can you answer that? I didn’t think so.

The Shoura council has dismissed the issue of women driving as irrelevant, despite that they have been approached with two petitions they refused to discuss the issue.

I wish all the brave Saudi women out there all the best of luck! Remember to buckle up and keep driving until a royal decree on the matter is ordered!


Unknown said...

that Sheikh Bin Baz is a nutcase. Congrats to all my Saudi sisters! It is about time.... :)

Anonymous said...

So in Saudi can't handle if the women get equal chances!that's why they keep them locked up all the time!but I've noticed that even some Indian and Pakistani men think like this and some wish women couldn't drive in their countries too.

Anonymous said...

Bin Baz also said the world is static, flat, and the sun revolves around it. He also said if anyone does not believe the world is flat, is an atheist and should be punished. Yet, he was the Supreme Religious Authority of Saudi Arabia. The "wahhabis" have full support of their "King", because the "king" gets his backing from the "wahhabis".

Terkkuja suomesta.

It's a shame to see the saudis so afraid of protesting their basic right to drive, let a lone call for democracy, rule of law etc... Obviously you are living in upper class KSA, which is a whole different world to the majority poor KSA. Women who don't have husbands or any male relatives basically don't have ANY human rights in KSA because as women their signature is worth nothing! If they are unfortunate enough to not have any male relatives and have to live without male guardians, life can be quite a pain.

Saudi Arabia with its massive oil riches would be a utopia if it had a democracy and governance based on justice. Yet it is ruled by a "king" who has absolute power and has named the whole COUNTRY after his OWN NAME. "Saudi" arabia.

check this bbc short film on the "real" face of saudi distopia, far from the reality of upper class SUV living standards.

Layla said...

Hi Lion of the Wasteland and thanks for your comment!
I agree its a shame not more dare to come forward to demand their basic rights. But at least there are some brave ones and they still continue their fight. I hope that will give others motivation to join also!
Thanks for the link I will check it out.
As a nurse at a large government hospital Ive seen families from the elite upper class all the way to the people with nothing..The differences are striking. More so because of how much the upper class has than because of how little the poor families have. The rich live in unbelievable luxury.Luckily Saudi families are large and the women from the less fortunate families will have support if not from immediate family then the extended one.
But you are right, if the woman does not find a male relative to help she cannot accomplish certain things. Pls refer to my post on government offices for women.
I´m curious to ask why you are saying "obviously I belong to the upper class KSA"?

Layla said...

Hi Lina!
I have noticed that too, some of the long term Indian and Pakistani male residents of KSA tend to think its a good idea women cant drive and wish the same for their home country.
Thats what living in Saudi Arabia does to foreign men sometimes, they get brainwashed into the whole idea of total control over women!

Anonymous said...

Hi and thanks for publishing my post, hope you dont get arrested!

You asked me: I´m curious to ask why you are saying "obviously I belong to the upper class KSA"?

because of the SUV comment u made.. Even in Finland SUV is upper class or atleast upper middle class.. but then again i might be wrong so i hope i did not upset u, that was not my intention!

Layla said...

No worries I was just wondering. In KSA its very common to drive SUVs I guess because they're relatively affordable here plus come in handy with the bad roads and big families fit in :)