Saudi Arabia is an interesting country. Hammered out of nomadic tribal regions living a Stone Age existence in the 1920s with Islam as a unifying force, Saudi Arabia has one foot in the Middle Ages and another in the 21st century. Women are getting restless there because they have to depend on the men of the family to go to work or to shop or just to travel from A to B according to custom. Since the Gulf War when women drove while the men were called to military duty, the restlessness has increased. Expect news today as a protest by women is being organized. I can tell you from experience that Saudi women organized is a force to be reckoned with. Prohibition may just kindle a bigger fire…
At a time when Saudi Arabia is breaking its long history of collaboration with USA over Syria and Egypt, unrest on the home front is not something the leadership will want to deal with. I predict some compromise after some token of enforcement. The old guard in Saudi Arabia is on its last legs and Saudi Arabia will emerge as a modern democratic society. The only question is how long it will take. Saudis are patient and persistent. So are their women.
This is more than an echo of the “Arab Spring”, all over the world the old guard is dying off. USSR became the Russian Republic, women are running more governments, Africa is healing from centuries of imperialism, USA keeps getting younger,more idealistic leaders and representatives (not necessarily a good thing in the case of the Tea Party, but at least they stir the pot), social media are having important influences, and news is immediate so cumbersome bureaucracies cannot respond promptly to changes. Governments responding to change expose their vulnerabilities. This empowers individuals and minorities who find they are not alone. Change is good often but not always. We live in interesting times.
“The authorities in Saudi Arabia have stepped up warnings to women not to defy a ban on female drivers by taking part in a mass driving protest.”