SUN 23 - 9 - 2018
Jul 5, 2018
The Daily Star
Saudi woman's car set ablaze after driving ban lifted
Agence France Presse
RIYAD: Saudi police are hunting for arsonists who torched a woman's car, only a week after the kingdom lifted a decades-long ban on female motorists.
Salma al-Sherif, a 31-year-old cashier based near the holy city of Mecca, told local media that her car had been deliberately set alight this week by men "opposed to women drivers".
"The incident is being investigated by security officials," Mecca police said in a statement released late Tuesday by local authorities.
"We are searching for the culprits."
On June 24, women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time in decades as the ultra-conservative kingdom overturned the world's only ban on female drivers.
For decades, arch-conservatives justified the ban saying that allowing female motorists would promote gender mixing and promiscuity.
Sherif said she faced abuse from men in her neighbourhood soon after she began driving in a bid to ease her financial pressures.
"Half of my salary of 4,000 riyals ($1,067) was spent on a driver to take me to my workplace and drive my elderly parents," Sherif told the pro-government daily Okaz.
"But from the first day of driving I was subjected to insults from men."
Sherif received an outpouring of support from Saudis on social media, with many posting pictures of her burning vehicle and denouncing the attack as a "terrorist act".
Local reports did not say whether her car was insured.
Authorities have sought to show the driving reform had religious approval, with the kingdom's top clerical council emphasising the lifting of the ban was in line with Islamic values.
But many are still wary of a backlash from hardliners, amid a torrent of sexist comments against women drivers on social media.
Many women say they are staying off the streets, testing reactions in a society torn between conservatism and a modernisation drive launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Some 120,000 women have applied for driving licences, according to an interior ministry spokesman, but it remains unclear how many have been issued.
For now, the women taking to the roads appear mainly to be those who have swapped foreign licences for Saudi ones.
Readers Comments (0)
Add your comment
Enter the security code below
Can't read this?
Saudi forces arrest 'extremist' after gunfight: ministry
State Department urges Ottawa, Riyadh to resolve dispute
Saudi Arabia arrests defense official on bribery charges
A year of change with Riyadh’s MBS
Saudi entertainment chief sacked after conservative backlash
MBS and May: Partnerships, policy and progress
Crown prince performs shock therapy on Saudi Arabia
A door opens in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi political explosions risk collateral damage
Can young prince refashion Saudi Arabia?
Editor In Chief & Webmaster :
Copyright 2018 . All rights reserved