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Old 06-29-2011, 02:33 PM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 333
Default Re: The Arab Summer (Jillian Schwedler & F. Gregory Gause)

Greg suggests the Saudi womens' driving issue may be counter-productive and serve the interests of the government because it divides socially liberal and conservative groups that are otherwise united in demanding important political reform, such as an elected legislature. But those groups would have to put aside their differences on a whole range of social issues in order to unite in demanding political reform. That's no reason for Saudi feminists not to keep pushing for social reform.

This is a link to a program that begins with an interview with a female Saudi blogger on the driving issue.
She says their point isn't to challenge the government. It's not against the law for women to drive. It's a social custom and their goal is social change. There was some harassment of women drivers by the police but no charges.

The blogger explains the fear that if women drive it may lead to women leaving the home, taking jobs, family breakdown, promiscuity, etc., etc., all the usual arguments that are made against any change in customs or laws related to the role of women anywhere, at whatever stage they're at. Some women oppose the change too. She says they wouldn't want to be responsible for jobs like driving the kids to school (maybe especially when they know their husbands will never help with the dishes or putting the kids to bed in exchange?). They also probably like being chauffeured around by their husbands or hired drivers. Freedom has its price, as most North American women know. :-)
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