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Saudi Book Causes Outcry With Iraqi Drivers

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Saudi Arabian Flag

Saudi Arabian Flag
Image: yasser zareaa

It is a fairly well-known fact that women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive cars. While some groups like ISIS prohibit female drivers, Saudi Arabia holds the distinction of being the only country on Earth to keep ladies completely off of the road. A recent book from Saudi Arabia discussing reasons why “good” women should be forbidden from getting drivers licenses has been translated into Kurdish and the women of northern Iraq are upset enough to protest.

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While Iraq still faces many struggles in the realm of women’s rights, many women are behind the wheel of cars for both work and pleasure. When this book from Saudi Arabia, which was not named by the Rudaw agency, recently made it to Sulaimani in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, many female drivers were afraid that its reasons for keeping women off the road would threaten their own rights. To protest the book’s publication, several women took to the streets in their vehicles in a parade to the region’s courthouse and buildings of religious authority. Participants ranged from committed women’s rights organizers to female taxi drivers.

While a book like this gaining any traction should be alarming in any place it is published, Sulaimani women should take comfort from the support shown by authorities for female drivers. When Rudaw interviewed an Iraqi traffic cop, he remarked that women should be allowed to drive because they are more cautious. In fact, in 2016, 1,919 car accidents occurred in the area and only 63 were caused by women. An Islamic preacher at the protest also spoke out for the ladies, stating that there is nothing in the Quran or Hadith to suggest that woman should not be allowed to drive.

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We are all about free speech here at The News Wheel, but we hope that the women of northern Iraq are able to keep the thoughts of this book from spreading. Every gender should be allowed to get behind the wheel and drive where they wish. After all, driving is pretty fun.

News Source: Rudaw