Saudi Arabian women are planning a new campaign to gain the right to drive

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Saudi cleric says women who drive risk damaging their ovaries
As women activists in Saudi Arabia are planning a protest later this month and calling on women in the kingdom to defy the ban that prohibits women from driving, a Reuters report, published in The Guardian, quotes a cleric who claims that women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems.  (This reminds me of those in our own U. S. history who claimed that opening higher education to women would damage a woman’s child-bearing capacity or that participation in sports would cause a woman’s uterus to fall out.  It’s interesting that patriarchal attempts to control women, denying their full humanity and their ability to run their own lives, are often disguised as concern for women’s health and protection —as witnessed in many legislative bodies today.)  Be sure also to watch this 14-minute video, a TED talk by Manal al-Sharif, titled, “A Saudi Woman Who Dared to Drive.”  She tells how societal and religious traditions can take over a woman’s life even when actual  laws don’t.

Related:  Check out the Saudi Women Driving blog for all news related to the topic. And you might also want to read this article from the Huffington Post about Saudi women and bicycles.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an independent scholar, writer, and editor. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992).

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