Women's Life in Saudi Arabia

By: Trent Beakley

Background Info

Saudi women live under a wide range of restrictions, from dress to driving. Women’s life in Saudi Arabia is very hard. From women not being able to drive to not being able to vote and not having freedom of speech women have it hard.

For Women in Saudi Arabia Driving is a Huge Issue

They are allowed to drive if they have a license but there is no place to get one for women. A traffic general was asked “what will you do if you come across a woman driving a car?” He said: “I will issue a violation against her because she does not have a driver’s license.” The Author of the article said “How can you issue a violation permit against a citizen for not having a driver’s license when your institution does not allow the said individual to attain one in the first place?” In Saudi Arabia one of the judges, who is part of the Justice Ministry “of course,” has issued a decision to whip a girl for driving a car in the city of Jeddah although she said she drove to medically aid one of her relatives. If the traffic institution issues a violation permit against the woman who drives the car, the judge issues a verdict to whip her and the cleric at the mosque emphasizes that prohibiting women from driving is for the sake of maintaining her morals. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to prohibit women from driving.

Being able to vote is a big issue for women in Saudi Arabia

Authorities continue to suppress or fail to protect the rights of 9 million Saudi women and girls. On September 25 King Abdullah announced that women will be able to vote in municipal elections in 2015. The government continued to exclude women as voters or candidates in the September 2011 municipal elections, despite a two-year delay to allow for logistical preparations to include women. In March 2011 women activists launched the Baladi campaign in protest, trying unsuccessfully to register to vote.

Women do not have the right of freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia

Protesting women’s rights can get you jailed. Activists for women's rights have become more vocal, focusing on practical campaigns such as the right to drive. Social media users are also testing the limits of freedom of expression.


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