By Neil King
Shoura Council accepts petition that calls for fresh conversation on driving
Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council could discuss one of the Kingdom’s most controversial topics after accepting a petition that calls for the ban on women driving to be lifted.
The petition, signed by 3,000 Saudi citizens including academics, scholars, writers and children, could pave the way for a historic change in the law, which currently forbids women from driving, though any change in legislation is a long way from being made.
A press statement by campaigner Abdulla Alami, said: “The human rights and petition panel of the Shoura Council has studied the petition and has decided that the issue of women driving should be opened for debate on the floor of the house.”
However, a member of the council told local newspapers: “Women driving is just one of several issues which can or can’t be taken up for discussion,” explaining that a specialised panel will decide whether it will be listed.
Former Shoura member, Mohammed Al-Zulfa, was the first man to raise the issue in 2006. He said: “I call on the newly appointed women members of the council to join forces and to strongly discuss the subject.
“I support the move to allow our women to drive in the capacity of being a Saudi citizen.”