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World in Brief / SAUDI ARABIA

Women hope to win right to drive

September 18, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

For the first time, a group of Saudi women have formed a committee to lobby for the right to drive, and they plan to petition King Abdullah.

"We would like to remind officials that this is, as many have said, a social and not a religious or political issue," said Fowziyyah Oyouni, a founding member of the Committee of Demanders of Women's Right to Drive Cars. "And since it's a social issue, we have the right to lobby for it."

The driving ban applies to all women, Saudi and foreign, and forces families to hire live-in drivers. Women whose families cannot afford $300 to $400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor.

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