It is indeed a paradox that while Saudi Arabia’s society and laws come down harshly on unrelated men and women found together in ‘seclusion’, neither the laws nor social disfavor are applied to the millions of unrelated, foreign drivers brought into the country to drive women around. Saudi activist Tahani al-Juhni, in an interview with Al Arabiya TV, notes that rapes and molestations by drivers is not unknown in the Kingdom, yet women are still prevented from driving themselves. I’d add that volitional sex between drivers and their female riders is far from unknown, too. This is truly an area where the supposed “religious protections” of enforced separation of the sexes fails utterly.

Women will be safer if they start driving: Saudi activist
Al Arabiya

Allowing Saudi women to drive will be safer than having them commute with male drivers, a Saudi activist, Tahani al-Juhni, told Al Arabiya in a TV interview this week.

“One journalist at al-Riyadh newspaper urged the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice to follow up on a case of a driver, who after driving female teachers to their homes, raped one of them,” said the activist.

Al-Juhni warned that there are about 2 million chauffeurs in the kingdom and half of them are illegal.

“Those illegal drivers are dangerous for society, especially since there is no law that governs them.”

She warned that some drivers have been known to harass women as well as children.


December:20:2012 - 09:25 | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink
2 Responses to “Making a Case for the Obvious”
  1. 1
    Jerry M Said:
    December:20:2012 - 11:25 

    Whatever case there may have been for not allowing Saudi women to drive, conditions have changed in the last few decades. Cars today are far more reliable than in the past. The adoption of safety equipment (ie:seatbelts, air bags, padded dashboards) has made ordinary collisions far less dangerous than in the past. The almost universal availability of cellphones means that a person in a car no longer has to leave the car to summon help if there is a breakdown. The availability of gps systems means that drivers can find their way (most of the time) without having to summon outside help.

    The major negative is the behavior of (male) Saudi drivers. The accident rate in Saudi Arabia is sky high. I am sure the would deter many women even if they were allowed to drive.

  2. 2
    ratherdashing Said:
    December:25:2012 - 09:42 

    It’s such hypocrisy to allow a foreign male driver to be alone with a female but not let that same female be alone with a known male acquaintance or co-worker. Just give people the option of letting female family members drive and this problem solves itself. Families can decide this on a case-by-case basis depending on how they value the situation and what they are comfortable with. How hard can this be, really?

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