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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Why can't women drive in Saudi Arabia?

Around 60 women in Saudi Arabia drove cars on Saturday despite being warned they could be arrested.

A lady in a car
Although it's not against the law for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, the country's Islamic establishment enforces a ban.
Women can't get a driving licence, so some women travel abroad to get one.
Last week the Saudi interior ministry said female drivers could be punished if they do drive - but no female drivers were arrested on Saturday.

Why the ban?

It is the law in Saudi Arabia that every woman must have a male guardian. This is often a relative or the woman's husband.
A guardian goes everywhere with the woman and traditionally gives her permission to do things like open a bank account.
Some people think women don't need to drive, because they don't travel without a man who can drive for her.
Campaigner Manal al-Sharif thinks women are banned from driving because allowing women to drive may threaten the guardian system.
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