This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Saudi Women Will be Allowed to Drive

It was exactly one year ago today that I blogged about the fact that "Saudi women are tired of being 'owned' by men."  One of the issues that has really bothered women is the restriction on their ability to drive cars. It was one of the most obvious elements of the gender divide that, as I noted several years ago--is the true clash of civilizations in Saudi Arabia (and in many other parts of the world). Given that background, it was very nice to be greeted today with the news that women in Saudi Arabia are going to be allowed to drive. The Associated Press has the story:
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced that women will be allowed to drive for the first time in the ultra-conservative kingdom next summer, fulfilling a key demand of women’s rights activists who faced detention for defying the ban.
The kingdom was the only the country in the world to bar women from driving and for years had garnered negative publicity internationally for detaining women who defied the ban.
Women’s rights activists since the 1990s have been pushing for the right to drive, saying it represents their larger struggle for equal rights under the law.
Some ultraconservative clerics in Saudi Arabia, who wield power and influence in the judiciary and education sectors, had warned against allowing women to drive. They argued it would corrupt society and lead to sin.
Women in Saudi Arabia have long had to rely on male relatives to get to work, run errands and simply move around. The more affluent have male drivers and more recently, in major cities, women could access ride hailing apps like Uber and Careem.
Don't expect to see many female drivers for awhile though. It won't be until June 2018 that the new order will be implemented. As you might expect, a committee (probably all male) will be formed to figure out how to get this going. 

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