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Saudi Women Lobby for Right to Drive

Women in Saudi Arabia, the only country that bans women drivers, have formed the Committee of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars in order to lobby King Abdullah for the right to drive. They plan to present their petition by Sunday, coinciding with Saudi Arabia”s National Day.

The ban on female drivers in Saudi Arabia applies to all the women there, Saudi or not. It forces families to hire full-time, live-in male drivers, and leaves those women who cannot afford to do so dependent on their male relatives for transportation. Supporters of lifting the ban point out that it is based on fatwas, or religious edicts, from senior clerics, not the law.

“This is a right that has been delayed for far too long,” Fawzia al-Oyouni, a founding member of the committee, told the Associated Press. She said that the petition would highlight what many Saudis, both men and women, view as a “stolen right.”

Sources:

BBC News 9/18/07; Associated Press 9/17/07; Daily Telegraph 9/18/07

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