Saudi women can drive without being punished after 60 years of unwritten ban

By:   Fedora Atjeh Fedora Atjeh   |   9/28/2017 12:59:00 AM
Saudi women can drive

Year 2017 and women are still doing things for the first time: they referee parties for the first time, they become US Navy infantry officers for the first time, they are defense ministers in India for the first time, they win a motorcycle race for the first time, they fly a plane for the first time (and they have to leave by harassment), they drive for the first time in 60 years.

This latest feat has occurred in Saudi Arabia, a country that lives under the absolute monarchy of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, a well-known friend in Spain, and in which clerics consider that women who lead undermine social values. The oil power has just published a decree allowing the issuance of driving licenses for both men and women. But Saudi women will have to wait until June 2018 to be able to say they are not the only women in the world who are forbidden to drive.

In Saudi Arabia live the most decadent luxury, inequality and strictest conservatism under the absolute monarchy of King Salman bin Abdulaziz. The list of things women can not do here gives an encyclopedia that you may not want to read, but with the next paragraph you can get a good idea of ​​what it means to be a woman in Saudi Arabia.

In 2002, 15 girls died in Mecca in a fire. The so-called police of morality, charged with overseeing Islamic law, prevented them from escaping because they did not wear the prescient veil and the tunic that had to cover their bodies. It was better that they die before the law was broken.

From here, we can get an idea of ​​the revolutionary reform that will allow Saudi women to lead after a long struggle fanned by a battered Arab Spring. The order to issue driving licenses to women will likely come into force in June 2018.

According to El País, an interministerial committee will be established to prepare the appropriate recommendations in accordance with local sensitivities.

It was in 1957 when the government of Riyadh ceased issuing driving licenses to women; the fundamentalist boom began, in which images of Afghan and Iranian women in miniskirts would go down in history.

Recall that the most conservative sectors have been diametrically opposed to women getting behind the wheel, a cleric saying a few days ago that those who drive have half brains, but when they go to buy they are left with only a quarter. Not to mention the terrible ills that will affect the ovaries of female drivers.

So, the monarch next to the High Council of Ulemas, have decided that the Saudis can lead as long as they do in the framework of Sharia, Islamic law. A parallel situation to that of Iranian women.

The end of this prohibition is not so much about promoting equality as it is about boosting the economy. On November 29, the Tweet of a prince member of the Saudi royal family went around the world for claiming the right of women to drive, but was trapped.

What worried this prince more was that the women resorted to foreign chauffeurs or they took taxis that made unnecessarily lose money to their families. Also, if they can drive, their husbands no longer have to waste time in bringing them to their destinations.

In the case of this decree, limiting the mobility of women implied a significant labor, social and therefore economic obstacle for the country. In addition to the bad reputation earned by the ultraconservative country in the face of international relations. It is an unwritten law, but the authorities only grant men leave, making it difficult for women to move.

In the case of this decree, limiting the mobility of women implied a significant labor, social and therefore economic obstacle for the country. In addition to the bad reputation earned by the ultraconservative country in the face of international relations. It is an unwritten law, but the authorities only grant men leave, making it difficult for women to move.

A few weeks ago, she also lifted the veto on women accessing soccer stadiums, and included physical education in women's schools in the Persian Gulf country. A slow road to equality in a country where women are protected and the only parts of their body that are not considered sinful are the eyes and hands, which in a few months may be able to put on a steering wheel without being punished.

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