Saudi Arabia: Shura Council Recommends Allowing Women to Drive With Limitations
The following is a summary of the Saudi Shura Council recommendation.
A source in Saudi Arabia's Shura Council reports that the council has submitted a recommendation to senior elements in the country to permit women to drive vehicles, with the following stipulations:
* The woman driver must be over 30.
* The woman's driving is conditional upon the permission of a relative [father, husband, brother, or son].
* The woman driver must obtain a driver's license from the center for teaching women to drive.
* The woman driver must be modestly dressed.
* The woman driver will be permitted to drive alone in the cities, but outside the cities she must be accompanied by a relative.
* The woman driver will be permitted to drive Saturday through Wednesday between 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM.
* The woman driver must have a cell phone with her, so she can call for help in an emergency.
* The woman driver must pay a certain sum when her license is issued; this sum will be set aside for car repairs.
The Shura Council also ordered the following:
* The establishment of a special women's transportation department; this department will collect the fees.
* The establishment of a telephone emergency center.
* The establishment of transportation centers for women in the cities, which will be under religious supervision.
The council stipulated that a woman driver who violates these rules will have her license revoked.
In the framework of this recommendation, the Shura Council is required to impose a one-month prison sentence and a fine on anyone talking with a woman driver from another car, and an eight-month prison sentence and a fine on anyone who sexually harasses a woman driver.
A transportation administration source reports that the Shura Council has as yet issued no guidelines for establishing a women's transportation department.
(1) For CNN’s coverage, visit http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2008/03/10/nasr.saudi.women.drivers.cnn (for video) and http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/03/11/saudi.women.drivers/index.html (for the article). For ABC News coverage, visit http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4422278 (for video) and http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=4420162&page=1 (for the article). See also http://politiken.dk/udland/article481878.ece.
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