Conflict & Justice

Saudi female driving ban prevents prostitution, say scholars


Saudi women walk inside the 'Faysalia' mall in Riyadh City, on September 26, 2011, a day after Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud granted women the right to vote and run in municipal elections, in a historic first for the ultra-conservative country where women are subjected to many restrictions.



Remember when women in Saudi Arabia protested to demand the right to drive cars this summer?

Well, that may not happen anytime soon if some conservatives get their way.

Religious scholars at Saudi Arabia’s highest authority on Islam have stated that the country’s ban on female drivers needs to remain in place in order to prevent further “moral decline” in the kingdom.

If women are allowed to get behind the wheel, said academics from the Majlis al-Ifta' al-A'ala council, Saudi Arabia would see a “surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce." 

Professors who wrote the report also warned that Saudi Arabia could be left with “no more virgins” if women are allowed to drive.

The Telegraph cited one Saudi professor from the Majlis al-Ifta' al-A'ala who helped write the report: 

In the report Prof Subhi described sitting in a coffee shop in an unnamed Arab state where "all the women were looking at me".

"One made a gesture that made it clear that she was available,” he said. “This is what happens when women are allowed to drive.”

Read our article on the women’s suffrage movement in Saudi Arabia here.