A Saudi Arabian historian has tried to defend the ban on women driving in the country by saying the ban prevents women from getting raped. In a recent interview on Saudi Rotana Khalijiyya TV, historian Saleh al-Saadoon said that a Saudi Arabian woman could get raped if her car were to break down along the road.
According to the transcript from the TV show as obtained by HuffPo, the historian then went on to say that in countries where women are allowed to drive that the women in those countries 'don't care' if they are raped by the roadside.
'They don't care if they are raped on the roadside, but we do.'
The horrified female host was quick to call him out. 'Hold on. Who told you they don’t care about getting raped on the roadside?' she asked. Al-saadoon replied;
'It’s no big deal for them beyond the damage to their morale. In our case, however, the problem is of a social and religious nature.'
Two other guests on the show also appeared to be in absolute horror but al-saadoon just replied 'listen to me and get used to what society thinks.'
Al-saadoon then said that women in his country who do not drive are treated like 'queens' and mentioned that with a gesture of their hand that their fathers, uncles, sons, and nephews must chauffeur them around.
The female host then asked al-saadoon if he thought there was no danger of women being raped by their male chauffeurs.
He agreed that it was a legitimate threat and made a suggestion that elicited shock from the female host.
'There is a solution, but the government officials and the clerics refuse to hear of it. The solution is to bring in female foreign chauffeurs to drive our wives.'
'Female foreign chauffeurs?' she said before covering her hand over her mouth. 'Seriously?'
If women drive in Saudi Arabia they face punishment including being lashed with a whip. Two women's rights campaigners who tried to drive into Saudi Arabia are set to face a special 'terrorism' court.