Saudi Arabia is ‘not ready’ for women drivers, says King Salman’s son Mohammad


mohammed-bin-salmanSaudi Arabia is not yet ready to end the world’s only ban on women driving cars.

Despite moves towards rights for women under King Abdullah before his death, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has said the Saudi community “is not convinced about women driving”.
The 30-year-old prince, who has amassed increasing powers since his father King Salman came to the throne, said the topic was not about Islam but about cultural norms.

“Women driving is not a religious issue as much as it is an issue that relates to the community itself that either accepts it or refuses it,” he said, according to local media reports.

The defence minister and favourite son of the current king, who is suffering from dementia, has been accused of influencing Saudi policy from the wings since his father came to the throne last January.

The German intelligence agency BND published a memoir which said the prince’s concentration of power into his own hands “harbours a latent risk that in seeking to establish himself in the line of succession in his father’s lifetime, he may overreach”.

Prince bin Salman has elsewhere appeared to indicate that he is supportive of increasing women’s rights in the Sunni Islam-majority country.

In a previous interview he has said: “We believe women have rights in Islam that they’ve yet to obtain.”

Yet he said most recently that the “community” still thinks allowing women to drive will have negative consequences.

When asked why Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest rates of women in the workforce in the world he said change would “take time”.

“[The woman] is not used to working. She needs more time to accustom herself to the idea of work,” he told The Economist.

“A large percentage of Saudi women are used to the fact of staying at home. They’re not used to being working women.

“It just takes time.”

He also said women working would help the country be more productive and deal with population growth issues.

Women in Saudi Arabia cannot open a bank account without their husband’s permission or leave the home without a male guardian known as a “mahram”.

The Shoura Council in the country, the king’s advisory body, recently ruled that female television presenters should not “show off their beauty”, while a young woman who was raped while out by herself received more lashes in punishment than one of her attackers.

During his lifetime, previous monarch King Abdullah opened the first coeducational university, named the first female deputy minister and said women can vote and run in municipal polls, despite strong opposition from religious clerics.




14 responses to “Saudi Arabia is ‘not ready’ for women drivers, says King Salman’s son Mohammad”

  1. Reasonableman Avatar

    If a women can bear the brunt of the whip why try and mansplain what women are ready and not ready for??
    The one who bore you AND the prophet muhammad peace be upon him were they not women?? No man can tell them whether they were ready or not!!
    Prophet muhammad peace be upon him WORKEDfor a WOMAN! Khadija may allah have mercy on her
    The ones who bare the brunt of corporal punishment, the women dieing in syria and being raped! The power hungry does not discriminate!
    If you argue a women (eve) turned the world upside down, then DON’T get in their way when they want to turn it rightside UP

  2. DaveTheRave Avatar

    Of course they must not drive for the healthy functioning of their reproductive organs is at stake. Women driving in KSA will lead to a national sterility crisis!

    1. Hind Abyad Avatar
      Hind Abyad

      hhhh… what can i say, crazy Saudi clerics. .

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        They would point to you and say: ‘See?? That woman didn’t have 20 kids!’ …. :-)))

        1. Hind Abyad Avatar
          Hind Abyad

          Then they should drive more..

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Hezzbolla can take another shot at them now … they actually blocked a web-site for the ‘Pro’ side … and Hezzy doesn’t like any ‘blocking’. :-)))))

    2. 5thDrawer Avatar

      I assume they don’t allow seat-belts in the back seat? 😉

    3. Reasonableman Avatar

      I can’t find anything to link the statements to the cleric?!? If he did say it and all evidence was removed he has certainly removed himself from such a statement.

      I believe linking this to religion is a cheap pot shot, although aspects of the country are run according to sharia law, everything else is not and culture has created this law and people are too heavily invested in stupidity to seperate the 2.

      Saudis women have not been enslaved by occupiers except enslaved by the mentality of the british occupiers. The men believe they are doing something good but rather are looking at a white liberal interpretation of what good is and opressing the women in the process.

  3. The Saudis are one of the most backwards Islamic countries out there without a doubt. They are in desperate need of reform and will most likely not survive any major post-oil scenario. It is deplorable the laws that Islamic countries have against women.

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