Women in Saudi Arabia are “gearing up” (heh) for a protest against the Kingdom’s driving ban on October 26th. According to CNN, “In addition to prohibiting driving, the country’s strict and compulsory guardianship system also prevents women from opening bank accounts, working, traveling and going to school without the express permission of their male guardian.” The current Saudi ruler, King Abdullah, has championed great reforms benefiting women, but his critics say “progress still hasn’t come fast enough.”
Change comes slowly, though, in a land run by religious clerics who espouse ridiculous, baseless ideas, like the suggestion that if women drive they will damage their reproductive organs. That’s precisely how Sheikh Saleh Al-Loheidan responded to the impending driving protest, by trying to scare women into thinking that if they get behind the wheel they “could cause damage to their ovaries and pelvises and that they are at risk of having children born with clinical problems.”
But that totally wouldn’t happen from riding shotgun. Nope. Just somehow it’s different if there’s a wheel between your legs, ladies, because THERE ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE ANYTHING BETWEEN YOUR LEGS. You got that?
Fortunately, a Saudi gynecologist named Mohammed Baknah went on television this weekend to refute Al-Loheidan’s claims. So far over 12,000 people from around the world have signed their names in support of the October 26th protest on the event’s website. If you’d like to add your name in support of Saudi women (and their ovaries), click here.
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