3 Dec 2011

Saudi cleric issues warning about allowing women to drive

9:08 pm on 3 December 2011

A report in Saudi Arabia has warned that if Saudi women were given the right to drive, it would spell the end of virginity in the country.

The report by a well-known conservative academic was prepared for, and presented to, Saudi Arabia's legislative assembly, the Shura council.

It concluded that letting women drive would increase prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce.

There is no formal ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, but if they get behind the wheel they can be arrested.

Saudi women have mounted several campaigns to try to overturn the ban.

Aside from the practical difficulties it creates, they say it is also illogical as in trying to keep them under family control and away from men, it actually puts them in daily contact with a male driver.

A Saudi woman against the idea has told the BBC the sentiments in the report are completely mad.