Tuesday, January 22, 2008

there is no discrimination against women in the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Arabian Commission on Human Rights appeared before a United Nations panel on CEDAW recently. They disputed any notion that women are the victims of discrimination in the Kingdom. (Saudi ratified CEDAW, with the condition that shari'a would prevail if there was any contradiction between the text of CEDAW and Islamic law. This allows the government to circumvent most of the demands of the convention).

Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and they cannot travel alone without permission of a male guardian. Yaroslav Trofimov gets one of the Wahhabi establishment on record saying that the Quran is silent on the question of driving in his book, Faith at War. I am unsure of the justification used to prevent women from driving, since CEDAW is pretty clear the question of inequitable drivers' license distribution.

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