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For Saudi women in Kansas City, driving isn’t ‘a big issue’

Source: 
Kansas City Star
Author: 
Rick Montgomery
Date: 
Friday, November 8, 2013

Rick Montgomery wrote: "When she recently obtained a Missouri driver’s license, college student Shrouk Alburj wasn’t thinking of liberation. She was thinking: I need the wheels.

Her native Saudi Arabia is the world’s only country that bars women from driving. But as a movement quietly builds back home to issue licenses to women, Alburj and other Saudi women studying in Kansas City say they’re puzzled by the attention that Americans have given the subject.

 . . . 

University of Kansas law professor Raj Bhala said that while nothing codified in Saudi or Islamic law prohibits women from driving, Saudi Arabia’s refusal to grant licenses to women flies in the face of international law with respect to equal rights.

'It seems so obvious' even if the United Nations is mum on whether driving is a human right, Bhala said: 'Women are entitled to equal dignity and equal protection. That’s like asking me if rain is wet.'

He said the reluctance of Saudi women studying in the United States to criticize the custom may be partly due to their reliance on scholarships funded by their government."

 

 

 
Her native Saudi Arabia is the world’s only country that bars women from driving. But as a movement quietly builds back home to issue licenses to women, Alburj and other Saudi women studying in Kansas City say they’re puzzled by the attention that Americans have given the subject.