Saudi Arabia: Saudi scholars back women drivers
The two scholars are Abdel-Mohsin al-Obaikan - one of Saudi Arabia's senior religious figures - and another well-known cleric, Mohsin Awaji.
Both say that, in principle, Islamic law does not prevent women driving.
Everything depends, they say, on the context. There are road safety issues. Steps need to be taken to prevent harassment of women drivers.
And - the great fear of religious conservatives - having women at the wheel must not lead to mingling of the sexes.
Arab News - the newspaper that has publicised the views of the two scholars - follows up the story with an opinion poll. This too suggests Saudi men and women see the issue in a practical light - the clear implication being that, if women are to drive, the government should do more to prepare the ground.
Conservatives continue to resist change and dispute the notion that public opinion is against them. For the moment, the signs are that the authorities are content to watch the debate unfold - without taking sides.
By: Roger Hardy
21 February 2008
Saudi Arabia: Saudi women make video protest
12/03/2008: Saudi women's rights activists have posted on the web a video of a woman at the wheel of her car, in protest at the ban on female drivers in the kingdom. (BBC News)
- UK: Forced marriage law sends 'powerful message'
- The Real Story Behind Brunei's Sharia Laws Isn't the One That Gay Rights Groups Are Telling You
- Yemen law on child brides and FGM offers hope of wider progress
- Saudi Arabia may review ban on girls' school sports
- UN human rights experts urge Kenya to repeal discriminatory sections in Matrimonial Property Act
- SIGN THE PETITION: President Hamid Karzai: We call on you not to sign the new Law on Criminal Procedures
- For immediate release: Statement on the arrest of Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni and the persecution of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia
- Egypt: Postpone the 15 December referendum on the draft Constitution!
- Update: Intisar Sharif Abdallah Released Unconditionally without Further Charge
- Declaration of the Senegalese Feminist Forum statement during the Reflection on the Malian Crisis Meeting