Saudi Women Get the Vote! But They Still Can't Drive

BlogHer Spotlight

[Editor’s note: King Abdullah has given Saudi Arabian women the vote and the right to run in elections. So we should be dancing in the streets, right? Yes, and no. Although it’s a victory of sorts, women actually won’t be able to vote until 2015. And as many women’s activists point out, how are they going to campaign and get to the ballot box if they can’t even drive? At Saudi, Sameera Azia reminds us of the intense sexism Saudi women still face when she raised the issue at a recent economic forum.--Mona]

She writes:

It is a question that is very close to my heart and that, I believe, of every woman in the Kingdom. However, I was in for a rude shock. I had barely finished my question at the elite gathering, when one of the key speakers cut me short:

“This is the dilemma of our society; young Saudi women of today, like you, just think of seeking permission to drive in the Kingdom, rather than focusing on and nurturing their marital life,” he had scoffed and continued deploringly. “Think of seeking a good groom for yourself rather than wasting your time on such non-issues.”

veiled woman

Credit Image: © DPA/

Read more from Driven to despair at Saudi Gazette


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