In Saudi Arabia, Driving Considered “Damaging to Ovaries”

by Katie Fustich

In Saudi Arabia, it is forbidden for a woman to get behind the wheel of a car. It seems silly, but sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan justifies this ban with irrevocable science:  “[Driving] could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis.”

The law forbidding women from driving has been in effect since 1932, A.K.A. the entirety of Saudi Arabia’s existence. It remains the only country in the world with such a restriction. In 2011, the law was momentarily reconsidered at a legislative council, but more “science” proved that a lightening of the ban would lead to men and women resorting to homosexuality and pornography. Well…I know I only ever used a car to drive to the Adult Mart on the side of the highway, so it sounds like they do have a point.

Many women have vehemently protested this law and continue to do so. A woman by the name of Najla al-Hariri drove around the city of Jeddah for four days in defense of a women’s right to drive. “I don’t fear being arrested because I am setting an example that my daughter and her friends are proud of,” she said. But defiance does not come at an easy cost. In 2011, one woman who was caught driving faced the penalty of 10 lashes with a whip.

Though things seem as rough as ever, in the comments area of The Daily Mail article reporting on this ban, one important voice spoke out: “I am a Saudi woman and I am like every women [sic] in my country fighting to make change. The life here is really tragedy for women . We hope to have our rights to live more easily and humanity in the future,” she said. “We won’t give up.” 


Thanks to the Daily Mail

Image via Flickr

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