Why It’s Not Okay for Saudi Arabia to Exempt Women from Traffic Violation Penalties
Following the royal decree that was issued by King Salman bin Abdulaziz this past September that will allow Saudi women to drive, something else has risen to light. According to Khaleej Times, Saudi Arabia is looking at exempting women from some of the traffic violation penalties.
As far as we know, Al Arabiya reported that the decision came from the authorities’ concern about the penalties not being suitable for women. One of the main exemptions would be stopping the car to question the driver or detaining the vehicle itself.
While it is a nice sentiment, and we’re quite sure that there are good intentions behind it – it’s a great insult to women of this age. The exemptions are holding women’s best interest in mind, but they’re also implying that women aren’t equal to men — that they can’t handle what men can – we’re moving forward not backward. The very announcement of this exemption has almost deleted the step forward that Saudi Arabia had taken a couple of months prior towards giving women their very basic rights.
Women all over the world drive, women all over the world are not exempt from certain traffic violations, women all over the world are gaining their basic rights, women all over the world are leading their own lives without men, single mothers, widows, CEOs of successful companies, editors, writers, and so much more. Women are making so much change. When you love someone and want them to grow and prosper, you help them learn, you make sure they learn how to fly then you let them go – you don’t exempt them from violations because women can’t handle them or they’re “inappropriate”. Saudi Arabia has taken a step forward, and it would be a shame for such a small thing to take away all of the effort that has been put for the gain of women’s rights.