Tuesday 22 July 2008 (18 Rajab 1429)

      Is society ready for change? 
      Haya Al-Manie | Al-Riyadh -
      LOCAL newspapers have recently published stories of women driving on the 
Kingdom's roads, something that led me to ask why they try to drive when they 
do not know how to.

      Since some of these women have ended up in terrible accidents, I'm led to 
ask whether there was a real need for them to drive, or were they just trying 
to show off. Maybe some of these young women were looking for adventure.

      The incidence of women driving may indicate a coming social change, which 
supports the theory of officials that the decision to allow women to drive must 
come from the community, not from the government.

      I am not going to argue about the right of women to drive, especially for 
families with extenuating circumstances.

      However, it is important for women who do not know how to drive not to 
try it on the roads, as this is suicidal. We criticize Saudi youths when they 
joy ride and undertake dangerous maneuvers at high speeds. This is exactly the 
same as women driving without knowing how to.

      At the same time, I want to know about the legal status of women driving 
in the Kingdom. Since some women hold international driving licenses and the 
decision to allow women to drive is a community one, do women who have 
international licenses not have the right to drive, especially if their parents 

      The incidence of women attempting to drive reflects a change in traffic 
rules. Women nowadays have more initiative than before. Most of them believe it 
has taken them too long to recognize their rights; they believe that rights are 
to be taken.

      I am not going to take any sides because that will not change anything.

      If societies want to achieve something, they will continue to make 
efforts until they get it. This will happen, especially if the majority 
believes it to be their right.

      These women tried to drive, despite it being dangerous, on a whim. They 
have no interest in drawing attention to their rights. They were simply trying 
to impose a status quo. 

      We do not want these whimsical women to try to drive on our roads just to 
show off - this could result in a car accident or a police arrest. Positive 
social change is driven by positive thinking, not reckless actions and 

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