Safety first: Is time to let women drive in Saudi Arabia?

21-12-2012 12:00 AM

Ammon News - 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.

“Saudi women press on the issue because of the registered crimes published in newspapers, and others by the way were not published,” said al-Juhni.

According to the activist, the responsiveness of Saudi society in tackling the issue has improved over the years.

“Since 1990, the issue was shunned when some people started demanding that Saudi women drive but in the past three years demands for women to drive have become stronger, some cases even went to the courts.”

Article 2 in the Saudi constitution guarantees justice and equality, the only injustice in Saudi society is the rule against women driving claimed the activist.

She goes on to say that allowing women to drive will lessen the economic burden on families in the Kingdom.

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