Saudi Council steps on the brakes of women drivers debate
Saudi Arabia's Shoura (Consultative) Council on Thursday rejected a move by three female members to put the ban on women driving up for discussion.
The Council, which counts 30 women among its 150 members, rejected a move by one female member to raise the issue during a discussion on Thursday of transport ministry matters, the official SPA news agency reported.
It said the issue was “irrelevant” to the discussions and “not within the transport ministry’s remit.”
On Tuesday, three female Council members filed a recommendation that the ban be lifted, one of the three, Latifa Al-Shaalan, said.
Their recommendation urged the Council to “recognize the right of women to drive a car in accordance with the principles of Shariah (Islamic law) and traffic rules”.
A petition signed in March by 3,000 Saudis had urged the Council to launch a debate on the ban in the only country where women are not allowed behind the wheel.
Shaalan said: “There is no law that bans women from driving. It is only a matter of tradition.”