The Saudi Duality on Women

Madawi al-Rasheed:

The ban on women’s driving keeps Saudis busy and fragmented. It distracts Saudis from more urgent questions such as political representation, civil and human rights and unemployment among both men and women. Above all the ban keeps the gender war hot as it sets women against men in an endless battle, thus preventing any alliances across the gender divide. 

The Saudi leadership has much to gain from ridiculous opinions that expose the misogyny and ignorance of such clerics — it can convince the international community that it is an enlightened leadership struggling to bring a conservative society into the 21st century. As such, it should not be pressured to implement measures that threaten social harmony and peace.