Finally, Saudi women allowed to drive

The Saudi government has passed a bill to decriminalize female driving on Saudi streets, a major Saudi news website reported today. The bill also clarifies the guidelines for female drivers (must be over 30 years of age, allowed to drive in the cities alone, and with a legal relative elsewhere) and the punishments for those who interfere with driving women. A member of the government (Majlis Al-Shura) added that women will have to carry a cellular phone to contact the female police force (since when did we have female police over there?!) in case of emergency; upon applying for their driver’s license, female drivers will have to pay a mandatory fee for on-road service to have their cars fixed, tires repaired, etc.. to insure their safety from other drivers who might be on the lookout for women on the road side. The Majlis has also recommended establishing female police units within cities, monitored by the religious police of course, and a free hot-line service to help female drivers in need of any sort of help. A study conducted by the Majlis further demanded that citizens who dare to speak to a female driver be punished by 1 month in prison and a fine, those who harrass a female driver in any way will -on the other hand- serve 8 months in prison and pay a hefty fine.

Cheers Saudi girls, welcome to the jungle! Stay Safe

Update [5:45pm E.T]: AlArabiya.net has deleted the news article in about 15 minutes of the original posting time! It looks like they still can’t go public with their article yet.. But I indeed can, right?

Update [1:00am E.T – March 20th]:

NEWS CONFIRMED BY RASID.COM
CONGRATS EVERYONE!

12 Responses to “Finally, Saudi women allowed to drive”

  1. Women allowed to drive in Arabia? Now THAT’S progress! Funny thing about the story disappearing almost as soon as it posted!!!
    I love your blog too! You have got some really great and interesting stuff here – lots of “food for thought!” I would love to delve into more serious subject matter myself, but I must admit, I am “cluck, cluck” a little bit chicken. I still feel like I am a guest in this country, and I am not a Saudi. Yes, I can have an opinion, but I don’t know that my place is to criticize, especially on the more serious issues. I am still testing the waters and I don’t want to get myself or my husband in any trouble, so I am on my best behavior! What I CAN do is link your fantastic blog to mine in hopes that others will be enlightened.

  2. Hi Susie,
    I understand that you’re still new in the country. Meanwhile, I can see in your writing how you notice different things people do and you really succeed at make your posts interesting.. You do not have to criticize ;-), but I honestly thought about (oh wow! she really must be on an adventure).. I also wanted to observe how the two realities are different from your eyes and how you feel about living there. Understanding “their world” will only be attainable if you learn Arabic, not many American women get to live there let alone having a beautiful family and becoming “one of the people”..

  3. Hi finally……
    I think we will have many many history stories in future 2 say it 2 our children. About the 1st licences 4 the 1st woman.The most funniest and dangerous story is how the saudi men react when he sees a women drive. I think the React for the saudi society will be hard, tough, and maybe destructing specially the nomadic. maybe they will terrifying every driving women so she will never drive again.

    thank you for the post….

  4. Hi,

    I’m doing a study/comparison about women’s rights with regard to Islam, in particular looking at Saudi Arabia and Tunisia (two very different countries, I know). Do any of you have any further thoughts on the status of women in Saudi Arabia? Any women’s movements or organisations? Women in the workplace…

    Any points of view would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  5. To Lila –
    I would suggest reading and getting in touch with American Bedu – she is a wealth of information. Her blog link is:
    http://delhi4cats.wordpress.com/

  6. So did the original article mention how long it would be before women would be allowed drive?? Passing the bill is one thing but actually allowing women on the roads is another! OK, I don’t relish the thought of joining the crazies on the roads here in Riyadh but there are times when I am utterly stuck because I am not allowed to drive here. 🙄

  7. I live in Saudi Arabia and I haven’t heard anything about this… hmmmm.

  8. Umm..
    No you don’t, you live in Amsterdam in case you don’t know..
    You insist too much -everywhere you write- that you live in Saudi Arabia which exposes you, besides your IP address of course..

    Whois: http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=77.31.254.42

    hmmmm…

  9. The topic is quite hot in the net at the moment. What do you pay attention to when choosing what to write about?

  10. HAHA female police force ? never knew we had one. I see this was posted in 2008, it’s 2011 n women r still not driving. I still have hope, soon InshAllah 😉

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