Ban on Women Driving Saudi Arabia


Purpose of Project

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel written by Harper Lee. It has won the Pulitzer Prize for being such an outstanding novel. Mockingbirds are a significant part of this novel. For these birds symbolize innocence, integrity, and goodness. They do not cause any harm towards anyone, instead they sing blissfully causing nothing but peace and calmness. And so with that being said, innocence can be lost as well. Whether it be by facing evil or going through an event that changes you as a person, everyone loses their innocence at one point and time.

In Bryan Stevenson's Ted Talk "We Need to Talk About an Injustice", he discusses a couple of matters. One of those matters is how we have lost our identity. According to Bryan Stevenson, we have put our identities at risk and or have lost it by being too comfortable. It's as if we just let negative topics fly past us and not take notice. Also we put our identities at risk by letting all the goodness of matters be overshadowed by suffering, abuse, incarceration, and marginalization. As people we put pass the negativity because we don't want to be faced by the actual cruelness this world holds. We sort of just let the positivity blind us from the horrors we refuse to see. As we lose our identity, we can also reclaim it as well. By redeeming our identity all we need to do is to commit that we will process the truth and reconciliation. Letting the darkness come before us and face it. Creating a mind-heat connection and facing things we do not want believe is what will help us regain our identity.

Social injustices have become a massive part of this world. It could be defined as the unkindness of a society in its dissimilarities between casts and burdens and other incidental inequalities based on the user's worldview of humanity. The social injustice in which I have been researching is the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. With looking into this injustice or any injustice it will put us back on the road to reclaim our identity and to finally seek the horrors held in the world.

Modern Day "Mockingbirds"

Social Injustices have taken a huge role in the world, yet it is still being ignored. Just like the injustice of women not having the right to drive in Saudi. The king of Saudi had declared no women shall be operating a vehicle under any circumstances. However, some women have went against this law causing trouble and serious consequences.

Stav Ziv writes an article about two Saudi Women being arrested for defying driving ban and are to be sent to court. Just as the women were sent to a terror court in Riyadh, a Cairo-based human rights group condemned the move, calling it unjust and excessive. Loujain al-Hathloul and Maysa al-Amoudi were the two women whom were caught driving along the border from the United Arab Emirates that were arrested by Saudi authorities in the beginning of December 2014. Later into the month is when they were sent to the terror court. Luckily for them the Human rights group helped them in their case.

Many women like Al-Hathloul have been going against the law of not being able to drive. Al-Hathloul went against this law by posting a video of herself driving on YouTube to prove that women should be having their right to drive. The video of her protest hit more than a million views. Because of her actions, she was lead to a detention facility near the UAE border. Her arrest caused Human Rights to also join and state that it was inhumane to set such strict laws on women. Sarah Leah Whitson had also stated that " After years of false promises to end its absurd restrictions on women, Saudi authorities are still arresting them just for getting behind the wheel."

In Freddy Mayhew's article on the ban of women drivers, he states a few cases in which women protest. One case would be the first major protest in 1990, when around fifty women drove through the streets in vehicles. Sadly, they were jailed for a day, and proceed to have their passports confiscated as well as losing their jobs. Not only were those the consequences, but even their male relatives lost their right to travel for six months.

Being sparked by Al-Hathloul's video of driving, forty women began to protest as well. However, one women protester was arrested and sentenced to ten lashes, though this was also overturned by the king. And so women are fighting for their rights, with protesting and proving that they do indeed deserve the right to drive.

Social Context: "The Disease"

In the town of Maycomb, there is a disease, a terrible one. Racism is what their disease. A matter of fact, a very bad case of racism, it is this disease that causes so many of the injustices in the story. They despise African Americans. The town is filled with racism and believes blacks should not have the same treatment as whites. There is no equality in the town, but there is ignorance. The dog in the story, Tim Johnson, symbolizes the racism. The hatred towards negroes and inequality is all held in Tim Johnson. Tom Robinson is faced with this racism from most the folks of Maycomb. Like when they put him in a Maycomb jail cell and a protest of men came declaring they did not want a black man in their town displays the racism in the town. Racism is the disease in which causes most of the towns injustices.

Saudi councils and leaders don't think that women should be driving vehicles. It is another ridiculous law they have set for women. Women do ,however, start protests against these laws. Of course it leads to consequences, like lashes or being arrested, but that does not stop them from fighting for their rights.

There has been a discussion in the Saudi Council, suggesting to lift the ban of women drivers. Freddy Mayhew has written that if this was to go through then " the ban will still remain in place for women under 30 – an anonymous council member told The Associated Press. For those old enough to get behind the wheel there would still be other constraints. They would only be allowed to drive between 7am and 8pm from Saturday to Wednesday and from midday to 8pm on Thursday and Friday, the weekend in the oil rich kingdom. Permission from a male relative – a husband or father, brother or son – would be required and outside of the cities women could not drive without a man present in the car. Women drivers would also have to be conservatively dressed and wearing no make-up, according to the official."

And so women are on their way of having rights, although it still may have some restrictions. Our role in this matter however is to show more recognition in it. The Human Rights Group has been making differences for calling out and some of the injustices. It is our job as well to spread the word and let more people know about injustices.

Becoming Atticus Finch

Courage can be defined in many ways. However, Atticus' definition of courage is to sacrifice everything in the search for the truth, and not be afraid of what you might find along the way. We respond the social injustice with thoughts that grow bigger and bigger as we look deeper and deeper into the subject. This helps us reclaim our idenitiy by realizing that every person can contribute to the hope of a community. As well as realizing our humanity depends on everyone else's humanity.