Kuwaiti woman arrested in Saudi whilst driving sick father to hospital

Published:  5 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: Moving, Australia
Just a week after a small group of Saudi women took to their cars in a high-profile protest against the kingdom’s female driving ban, a Kuwaiti woman driving her father to hospital was detained by Saudi police.

The woman, as yet unnamed, was stopped by police close to the Kuwaiti border and detained for breaking the ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia. She told police she was attempting to get her diabetic father to hospital, but was detained and is being held in police custody pending an investigation.

Reports indicate that police officers were less than sympathetic about her reason for driving and it’s not yet known whether her father ever reached the hospital. Although no law has been issued making driving by women illegal, Saudi’s female population are not allowed driving licenses and the ban is understood to be upheld and enforced by religious leaders in the country.

Just over a week ago, four women deliberately defied the ban by driving in spite of warnings by ultraconservatives and police officers, but none were arrested or detained. Religious leaders exerting strong influence over the Saudi monarchy have frequently warned that removing the ban will allow ‘licentiousness’.

An online petition against the ban has gathered over 16.000 signatures since its September launch, and many Saudi men are now in favour of the ban being lifted as it causes them major inconvenience as well as being unsuited to the modern world. It’s considered unsafe for Saudi women to take public transport, and many expat wives are also affected as regards taking their children to school and shopping for the family.
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