Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Women Drivers

Headscarf fashionImage by ozgurmulazimoglu via Flickr

Manal Al Sharif, a 32 year old Saudi Arabian divorced mother of one spent nine days in jail recently because she dared to post a video of herself driving a car.
She was released this week by Saudi officials and warned not to drive and not to encourage other women to drive. 

It isn't as if she can get together with her friends and vote to change things.

Women are not allowed to vote in Saudi Arabia either.

As usual I was outraged by this latest injustice until I read a comment by Mahal Akeer, a critic of her country's patriarchal customs and realized that I have to keep in mind that Saudi Arabia is not Canada.
Ms Akeer said, "... we are not asking for women's rights according to western values and lifestyles ... we want things according to what Islam says."

I have absolutely no idea what an egalitarian Islamic society would look like but I do know that what the Quran says about women is not the same as what Sharia Law says.  Thank heavens.

We should support and tell the stories of women like Manal Al Sharif as they struggle to find their voices within their own society.

And you never know, we might learn something about true equality along the way...

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