Monday, July 8, 2013

Woman held after asking Saudi policemen for directions

This story appeared in the Gulf News. While women in rural parts of Saudi Arabia do drive, it appears that this female driver's mistake was assuming that the police in the area would turn a 'blind eye' if she asked them directions. A link to the story is here, and the text is below.

Vehicle was carrying teenagers from nearby summer camp in Saudi Arabia

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 15:11 July 7, 2013
Manama: A woman in Saudi Arabia who was not supposed to drive was arrested after she pulled up her van next to a police patrol to ask for directions.

The traffic policemen in Taif province could not believe the situation and proceeded to question the woman and search the vehicle in which they found 15 girls, aged between 14 and 18, merrily singing and dancing, local news site Sabq reported on Sunday.

The driver, believed to be in her 40s, said that the girls were from the Red Sea city of Jeddah and that they were spending time at a summer camp in the area.

She was detained pending the arrival of a male relative to discuss her case, Sabq said.

Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, even though there is no legal text that bans the practice.
Attempts to break through the deep-anchored traditions have failed to introduce any changes.

Women were this year empowered politically when they were given 30 of the 150 seats in the Advisory Council in a landmark decision by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz who has championed several pro-women reforms since he assumed power in August 2005.