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Rebellious Saudi woman. My life has began once i arrived to Canada in 2008, from that moment i realized that there is a lot of things i need to catch up with .... Welcome to my Blog. If anything I have to say offends you, I can assure you that I am not sorry.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Saudi women catch the revolution virus

Saudi women catch the revolution virus

This article first published by ViewsHound website.

By: Fatema Kareem - Wednesday 25 May 2011 
Tags: Saudi Arabia, rights, middle east
Women face barriers in every country in the world. These barriers may be greater or lesser depending on the government and society in each country. The patriarchal system in Saudi Arabia has made it hard for women to acquire equal rights with men. While men have few political rights, women still have almost none. Moreover, this situation is nurtured by the religious authority; women were told that they were created by God to stay at home and do the housework, with limited options for work outside their houses.
It seems that women in Saud Arabia are fed up with the ignorance and neglect of the authority and society, and their failure to grant them more rights. Thus they have decided to change their tactics and take action instead of waiting. In recent days a Saudi woman, Manal Al Sharif, has been calling for a mass drive by woman on June 17th, 2011, in an effort to change the society’s opinion of women driving. She released a video on YouTube describing how woman can participate in the movement to lift the ban on women driving. Al Sharif started to drive her car using an international driving license, but was detained at Alkhobar police station for the second time at about 2am a few days ago, without any clear accusation.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women from driving. The government has stated that it is a matter of time, and that it is completely up to the people of Saudi Arabia to decide when they are ready for this to change – political views have nothing to do with it. This vague statement seems to be indirect approval for the current policy to avoid international embarrassment and to keep the matter from the rest of the world.
The women of Saudi Arabia have caught the revolution virus from nearby countries, and the detention of one woman won’t stop them or make them afraid. A driving demonstration was held in the 1990s, and a few years later the issue came to the surface again when human rights activist Wajeha al-Huwaider drove her car in the private campus of the oil company ARAMCO to raise awareness of the issue. Women’s fight for the right of mobility is a key part of their struggle for wider rights in the future – they are starting to believe that rights are something they must fight for.
The issue of women driving doesn’t require great discussion – it is a non-negotiable right. The government of Saudi Arabia needs to take action and change the law now. If the government are looking for a chance to move toward reform in the country, now is the time to begin.