Different Worlds

“Two different worlds
We live in two different worlds
But we will show them as
We walk together in the sun
That our two different worlds are one”
As sung by various artists.

These are the lyrics from an old song – way back in 1956 – and yes it was a love song, but it came to mind today when I read the headline  “Driving Car Gets Saudi Woman 10 Lashes”.

Saudi woman at wheel

From womeninsaudi.com

Apparently it is illegal for a woman to drive a car in ‘the conservative kingdom’ and this woman has been caught behind the wheel several times in recent weeks.  She attended a mass rally in June to garner support for women drivers. Since then, dozens of women have been involved in a campaign to try to break the taboo and impose a new status quo. The campaign’s founder who apparently posted a video of herself driving on Facebook, was detained for more than 10 days. She was released only after signing a pledge not to drive or to speak to the media.

Shaima Ghassaniya, the woman sentenced to the lashes, has been stopped on three occasions and each time was given the opportunity to sign the pledge not to drive again.  Each time she refused and this is the fourth time she has appeared in court.  The final time she was sentenced to the ten lashes.  This woman is Western educated and holds a masters degree and is to hire a lawyer to appeal the sentence.

What makes this all the more confusing to us in the Western world is that just two days ago King Abdullah made an announcement granting women the right to vote and to hold public office.  Where does this ban on driving fit in?

We most certainly live in two different worlds.  We are allowed the freedom not available to women in so many other countries.  Saudi Arabia is the only nation in the world where women do not have the right to drive.  What other rights do we take for granted that are not allowed to them?

The breaking news via the BBC is that King Abdullah has overturned the sentence, although this has not yet been confirmed officially.  This added to the earlier news that women will be allowed the vote, must help move this nation into the 21st Century where all people are treated equally.

End of rant for today.

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19 responses to “Different Worlds

  1. Rant on, Judith.
    Yesterday, a coworker sent out a message of good wishes in honor of Rosh Hashanah. He then sent out a message for his non-Jewish coworkers, letting them know the purpose of his first email.
    I responded back by saying, “I’m not Jewish, Sasha – but I genuinely appreciate you extending the well wishes to everyone. The world needs more all-inclusive well wishes.”

    • What a great thing your co-worker did. He is obviously a special person. O agree that the world needs more all-inclusive good wishes. And if you are Jewish or not, happy Ros Hashanah. 🙂

  2. Great post! It breaks my heart that women over the course of history have almost always walked the more difficult road to achieve what should be basic human rights. Ridiculous that in our day there are still women not afforded the respect they deserve as human beings.

    • We take these rights for granted but there are still pockets in the world where such rights are not granted to all. These women, fighting against such ‘tyranny’ are to be applauded. 🙂

  3. I have to say, Judith, I could hardly believe my eyes when I read that article. I even tweeted on a news website because I was so shocked. We could go on forever about the barbarity and cruelty behind all this but believe me. I am as appalled as you

    • Thanks Peter. I occasionally go off on a rant about tyrannical behaviour. i am appalled that in this 21st Century such discrimination exists. And probably this is only thre tip of the iceberg. Unless we live there how do we know what else certain sectors of the community are denied? 🙂

  4. Thanks for your rant. If we produce enough cyber-rants, maybe some of the injustices in Saudi can be turned around.

    • In today’s paper the fact that the sentence has been overturned is reported. But what of the future? And of course, the ban on women driving is not even set by law, but by the aging clerics who seem to have great sway in the nation.

  5. I also believe the women in Yemen aren’t allowed to drive. I read a book by a ten year old divorcee of a forced marriage to a middle aged man in Yemen. It was a memoir written by her with help. I think forced marriages are also atrocious and monstrous. We can at least marry who we want and not have to be made to marry at ten years old.
    They also have forced marriage in Saudi Arabia.

    • I am constantly amazed at how little I really know about other cultures and what one is allowed and not allowed to do in other countries.
      I think the forced/arranged marriage thing is monstrous and can hardly imagine the fear of a young girl being forced to marry a much older man which often appears to be the case. I read a story of two sisters who were brought up in London and then married off to rich men in the father’s home country. They eventually escaped with their children but only after experiencing harrowing times.

  6. I am so glad that I do not live in Saudi Arabia or any other country where women are treated in similar fashion.

    Here’s to Liberty, Equality, and Sisterhood!

  7. We take freedom for granted sometimes, not realizing what situations others around the world are facing each day.

  8. This makes me so thankful I live in America….So sad 😦 I can’t even imagine…

  9. Pingback: I Guess I’ll Share « TheRealSharon's Blog

  10. I think a powerful way for the West to combat Islamic fanaticism and jahid is to fight with the words of Thomas Jefferson and to really come out to help women in the Arab world break out from their third class status. Those men treat their camels better than their women.

    • Certainly something needs to be done and if we all do what we can maybe a groundswell will rise and changes can be made to the treatment of women in those countries. 🙂

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