Seven Things Saudi Women Still Can’t Do, Despite Driving Ban Lift

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(Anti Media) In a decree issued on Tuesday, Saudi King Salman ruled that women will be allowed to drive cars next year, a move which will end the kingdom’s status as the only country in the world where it is forbidden.

Social media users reacted to the news, pointing out the kingdom’s ‘regressive’ guardianship rules, which women in Saudi are still battling.

Saudi’s law against women drivers is one of many controversial laws presenting a web of restrictions to women.

Saudi women are required to get permission from a male family member, sometimes even a younger brother, for some of the most important decisions of her life.

And whilst they might be allowed to drive in eight months’ time, here is a list of things Saudi women still can’t do:

1. Eat freely in public

As part of the kingdom’s dress code, women are required to wear a face veil. This, whilst selectively enforced, means that wherever it is, women must then eat under their face veil.

2. Dress ‘for beauty’

They must cover their hair and bodies. The kingdom’s dress code requires women to wear an ‘abaya’, a dress-like full length cloak.

3. Freely socialize with non-relative males

Women are not free to socialize with men outside of their immediate families, and can even be imprisoned for committing such an offense.

4. Marry whomever they like

There are rulings against Saudi marrying non-Muslim, Shia, or atheist men.

5. Travel

Traveling without a male guardian’s permission is prohibited.

6. Open a bank account

In Saudi Arabia, women still need their husband’s permission before they are allowed to open a bank account.

7. Get a job

Although the government no longer requires a woman to have guardian’s permission in order to work, many employers still demand the permission before hiring.

The struggle for greater women’s rights in the kingdom has been a difficult one, with activists facing arrest for defying the driving ban.

Saudi women have been campaigning for the right to drive since the 1990s, with many women ending up in prison. Among many other women, Manal al-Sharif, an Aramco employee at the time and an activist, dared to drive in eastern Saudi Arabia with Wajiha al-Howeider, a veteran feminist, who recorded the incident for circulation on social media.

In recent months, a model was arrested for wearing a short skirt.

Scholars trying to use Islam as justification

Islamic scholars in the kingdom routinely used religious reasoning to justify the ban, arguing for years that the ban was in accordance with sharia law.

As debate unfolded on social media, many users shared old tweets from scholars, who had previously defended the ban, calling their views ‘shameful’, and asking for them to be removed.

Some activists are now scouring scholars’ twitter accounts, finding evidence of when they previously argued it was Islamically unlawful for women to drive, this twitter user says. But they’re in a race against time with the scholars themselves, some of whom are deleting tweets in which they spoke out against women drivers.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Do you think Americans are open minded and are really free? Big NO. Non Muslims have only one goal and it’s desire of materialistic world ( sex, money, attitude in life). Western culture is curse because of ur mother and sister’s character or u can say by their freedom. Don’t think we are fools. Indeed time is not favoured us doesn’t mean you are true. Muslim women wears mask( hijab) because their modesty is still alive but you are wearing it because you are not free.

  2. More proof that Islam is a mental disorder called insanity. Islam is a pagan religious with worshiping the moon god. Worshiping the moon god is what Ramadan is all about. Women are considered worse than dogs and dogs are considered dirty. In insane Islam Women are only good for sex to populate Islam.

    • I heard someone else saying something similar as what you said regarding the moon god thing once, if i recall well it was that they believed Allah means mood God which is totally wrong, Allah is the arabic word for God and Jews and Christian living in Arab nation will also refer to God using the word Allah. Islam is about worshipping the one and only God our Lord and the creator of all things, without any association, and to submit to His command.

      Ramadan was ordered to us by Allah. It’s a month of worship in which we hope to attain taqwa (piety, God fearing) but also a month of sharing and helping the poor

      Women in islam are honored and respected. If you truly wish to know what islam is about then study it by it’s core, the quran and the sunnah of our belove prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), you will learn and achieve nothing by going to anti-islam website to learn, beside maybe fill your heart with fear and hate, but not truth…

      God bless

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