Senators To Saudis: Let Women Drive

A bipartisan group of 14 female U.S. senators wrote to the King of Saudi Arabia this week urging him to give the women of his kingdom the right to drive a care "once and for all." 

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving, and it is not done by law but by religious edit, a fatwa from Wahhabi clerics of the extremist branch of Sunni Islam which dominate so much of the kingdom’s life and laws, reported AFP.
The bipartisan group included both Jewish female senators, California Democrats Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. Others signers: Democrats Mary Landrieu, Patty Murray, Claire McCaskill, Barbara Mikulski, Jeanne Shaheen, Maria Cantwell, Kirsten Gillibrand, Debbie Stabenow, Amy Klobuchar, Kay Hagan and Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.
"We strongly believe it is time to abolish the prohibition on women driving once and for all, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s role as a newly elected member of the board of UN Women — an entity dedicated to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide," the senators wrote.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backs the burgeoning human rights movement as well. At least 42 Saudi women took to the streets of several cities in recent weeks, and at least five were arrested by the religious police. One woman was jailed for 10 days after posting a YouTube video of herself behind the wheel, AFP reported, prompting Clinton to say, "what these women are doing is brave, and what they are seeking is right."
Driving rights pale by comparison to the long list of human rights abuses chronicled in the latest report by the State Department —  never one to willingly offend the Saudis oil sheikhs — on life in the kingdom. Here’s a sampling:
"no right to change the government peacefully; torture and physical abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention; denial of fair and public trials and lack of due process in the judicial system; political prisoners; restrictions on civil liberties such as freedoms of speech (including the Internet), assembly, association, movement, and severe restrictions on religious freedom; and corruption and lack of government transparency. Violence against women and a lack of equal rights for women, violations of the rights of children, trafficking in persons, and discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, sect, and ethnicity were common. The lack of workers’ rights, including the employment sponsorship system, remained a severe problem."

It’s enough to make one want to get in her car and start driving west. Hint: if she can make it to the Zionist entity she will find Muslim women who have more freedom and rights than women anywhere in the Arab world. But that’s another story.



About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.