Monday, July 18, 2011

People reporting Saudi women drivers to authorities

So now that women around Saudi Arabia have started to drive, and their goal is to just do it until people are used to seeing them and it becomes  legal, the 'authorities', i.e. the CPVPV - the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice - have issued 'tip phone numbers' where people can report a woman driving.

It seems that some people have started doing that, though I hope the actual occurances are few and far between. It is disappointing to me that people are 'tattling' on the women who want to drive. Being willing to snitch on your neighbor is not the way the change will happen. I was very happy that on June 17th it appeared that no one harrased the women who wanted to drive. This new turn of events is disheartening. Also remember that the traffic peoplice aren't asking for tips, it's the 'Vice Squad'.

Below is a story from the Saudi Gazette about two women from Oman who were picked up by the rural road patrols after someone reported seeing them driving in the Hijaz. The link to the story is here

And the full text of the story is below:

2 women drivers from Oman stopped on Taif highway
By Abdullah Al-Maqati
Okaz/Saudi Gazette

DHULUM – Two female drivers were stopped Saturday morning on the Taif-Riyadh road as they and their families headed for the Western Region, officials said.
Road patrols stopped the two cars with Omani plate numbers after they received a tip and spotted the women driving; a man reported that he saw someone throw a water bottle from one of the cars, pursued the vehicle and saw the women driving, according to officials.
Patrols at the Jisr Ashira checkpoint at Taif’s eastern entrance stopped the two cars, the two women and their fathers were asked to sign an undertaking after they said they were unaware of regulations and they were allowed to leave with their male companions driving, officials said.
A security official said that in such cases, a violation is recorded and an undertaking is signed that the woman does not drive in the Kingdom again.
In recent weeks, some Saudi women, including Wajnat Al-Rahbini, an actress, and Manal Al-Shareef, were arrested in the Eastern Province and Jeddah for driving.
Authorities in the Kingdom say the issue of women driving is a decision of the society. __

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