Urgency for Change in Saudi Arabia

“No Spring in Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Seemingly Impossible Revolution”

by Stéphane Lacroix


“Revolutions happen when deep and serious reform is absent… People don’t provoke revolutions, only repression, oppression, corruption, backwardness and poverty provoke revolutions”

“People here, like people around the world, have demands, longings and rights, and they will not remain silent forever when they are denied all or some of them”

“When one becomes hopeless, you can expect anything from them”

-Salman al-‘Awda



Stéphane Lacroix’s “No Spring in Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Seemingly Impossible Revolution,” touched on a lot of important topics regarding Saudi Islamist and the Arab Spring. Even though the reading did not touch on the #Women2Drive campaign in Saudi Arabia, I wanted the focus of my blog post to be on this topic.

So why can’t women drive in Saudi Arabia? In all actuality, there is no written law that states that women cannot drive. There is literally no reason and no law that says that women should drive. The absurdity and ideals of this ban is demonstrated by a conservative Saudi Arabian judicial advisor, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan, who commented, “If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards. That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees.” Obviously, there is no medical studies to support his argument or we would all have clinical problems, assuming all our mothers drive.

All in all, I feel this is an extremely important campaign in Saudi Arabia because it is opening a discussion on the problems in Saudi Arabia, specifically to basic human rights for women. The fact that women cannot drive in Saudi Arabian is absolutely bizarre. Women can’t drive, even though they want to. But this restriction goes deeper than just driving, it touches on basic rights that affect women’s ability to work, travel and live a normal and free life. It’s evident that there needs to be change in Saudi Arabia, especially because of the fact that women are not real and full participants of society.


Urgency for Change in Saudi Arabia

2 thoughts on “Urgency for Change in Saudi Arabia

  1. anthonymartinez415 says:

    I really enjoy you blog post. Had a nice touch with the quotes and pictures added within. Additionally, this statement made by Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan is absolutely absurd to me. How does some known as a judicial advisor, make a statement like that? This man is looked upon as someone who is intelligent with background knowledge of cultures, world issues, and human interaction. How uneducated, ignorant, and idiotic of a human being can you be to think such things? And to be honest my only belief is that living in the Middle East is a place that is constantly overwhelmed with deep religion but even deeper fear to those that are the leaders and royal family. You dress wrong or look at someone the wrong way could get your self killed. I don’t personally know this for a fact, but it truly seems like fear and death is constantly a thought on these peoples minds. Additionally, I feel the pain of the women in Saudi Arabia or at least I try to put myself in there shoes to understand. But its situations like this that make me question, why would you want to be apart of a country or a lifestyle that doesn’t allow freedom. I know with my excessive amount of freedom it is much easier for me to say, but its hard to imagine even being apart of a community, culture or country that doesn’t allow humans basic rights to live. We have one life. So being controlled like that does not seem appealing to me in the slightest bit.


  2. ipalacio23 says:

    I like your perspective from Women2Drive as a way to see the issues that are oppressing women in Saudi Arabia. I learned a lot from your post as well as the videos that we viewed in class on Monday regarding this campaign, which turned out to be successful to some extent. There needs to be societal change on how men view women because like you stated, there is no law that prevents women from driving. It is purely a traditional view that Saudi Arabia holds. Women are highly educated in this country so why can’t they be seen as drivers? To me, getting an education seems like a more difficult feat while driving is something people do in their everyday lives. I hope this campaign expands from its already successful stance against the taboo of women driving in Saudi Arabia.


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