Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Victories for Saudi Women

The government of Saudi Arabia has given women the right to stay alone in a hotel, and will soon legalize driving:
"The Arabic daily Al Watan, which is deemed close to the Saudi government, said the Ministry of Trade issued a circular to hotels asking them to accept women in their rooms even if they were alone provided that all their information is immediately be registered at a police station in the area, AP reported...

"Authorities also plan to issue a decree by the end of the year to lift the controversial ban on women driving.

"The move is designed to forestall protests for greater freedom by women, which have recently included campaigners driving cars through the kingdom in defiance of a threat of detention and loss of livelihoods."

In addition to the many activists who have called attention to these issues, some credit should go to King Abdullah. In the Saudi context, he does count as a reformer.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)

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