18.05.24 Saudi Women

May 24, 2018

Drive Towards Equality

Weeks away from lifting “ban” prohibiting women from driving, Saudi Arabia arrests women’s rights activists who fought for the cause.

What’s Going On

“Ban” Basics

Saudi Arabia: only country in world where women can’t drive.

No official law prohibits women from driving butA only men are allowed to obtain driver’s licenses.A This changes on June 24 when women can get a driver’s license – part of a reform plan called “Vision 2030”

Click: Watch

Saudi Arabia follows ‘Wahhabism‘, a form of Islam that says women:

  • should be separated from men they are not related to
  • wear veils to cover themselves while in public
  • be accompanied by a male guardian (usually a relative or husband) unless they receive written permission from a male guardian

Why Now?

  • Crown Prince recently visited U.S., spoke about reform, including for women. He lobbied & secured major investment based on “Vision2030”.
  • In the past, he’s suddenly arrested groups of business men & controversial Islamic clerics.
  • Women under arrest reportedly called “traitors” by govt but little other explanation exists.

Rights activists say they (the women) are being targeted because the government doesn’t want human-rights advocates to claim credit for the lifting of the driving ban. WSJ

by Jenna Lee,