Saudi Arabia is an Arab country that applies Sunni Islam and tribal customs. The country experiences the highest level of patriarchy and nomadic tribes where women are the most affected as the separation laws that separate men and women. The country has denied women the right to drive other the years (Michael, 2012). However, recent activist's action and international intervention, including, the United States of America president calling for the amendment of these laws, shows a ray of hope as some women is driving within the country's capital. This paper intended to explore the journey to the freedom of women drivers by looking at the historical background, the current situation and the projected future and the fate of women drivers.
In a world of automobiles and technological advancement, it is in the interest of every human being to know and understand the trends and level of acceptance of modernization. It, therefore, means that, topics of global importance such as those against or propagating gender inequality are important in order to give insight on the world’s progress. Women driving rights in Saudi Arabia is not only gender equality issue, but also a breach to their freedom of movement that is curtailed by the national embracement of the discriminatory patriarchal system.
Women driving in Saudi Arabia have been illegal for a long time and various institutions spread all forms of rumors to oppose the move. Some of the cited consequences include health implication and sexual immorality (al-shihri 2013; AP 2011). However, this move to stereotype and brand women driving was not for the good of women but a strategy by men to retain gender supremacy by making women dependent on them anytime they want to move. Women drivers have been tried in a court of law as the act is lawfully illegal. Additionally, talking about it can lead to death (Michael, 2012). The project will carry out research by interviewing women and other organization that fight for these rights such as human rights movement (al-shihri 2013. Additionally, secondary data obtained from legal institutions will be used to write a literature review of the progress of the topic.
AL-SHIHRI, ABDULLAH. :"Saudi Arabia's Women Driving Ban: Doctor Dismisses Cleric's Claim That Driving Hurts Ovaries." The world post 30 Sept. 2013: n. page. Web. 7 Apr. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/30/saudi-driving-ban-ovaries_n_4016957.htm>.
AP. "Saudi Arabia: Women Driving Will Have Sex, Report Says." The World Post [Riyadh] 12 Mar. 2011: n. page. Web. Apr. 2014.
Coogle Adam, and Christoph Wilcke. Challenging the Red Lines: Stories of Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia. N.p., 2013. Print.
Michael, Maggie. "Saudi Arabia: Woman Sentenced For Driving A Car." The World Post [Cairo] 27 Sept. 2012: n. page. Web. Apr. 2014.
Pizano, Pedro. "Where Driving Is a Crime and Speaking About It Leads to Death Threats." The World Pot 6 June 2012: n. page. Web. Apr. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pedro-pizano/saudi-women-driving_b_1575969.html>.