Readers React: Why isn’t the world taking a stronger stance on Saudi Arabia’s terrible laws on the treatment of women?

A motorist poses behind the wheel in Riyadh on June 24, the day Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving cars was lifted.
(Ahmed Yosri / EPA)

To the editor: The great celebration of women driving shows the sad state of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, where male approval is required for a woman to travel outside the country, to get a passport, to get married or to leave prison. It is only one of the countries with laws that put the life of women in the control of men.

It’s been nearly 25 years since the the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid achieved its goal of the repeal of apartheid laws in South Africa. That goal must have seemed outrageous in the 1960s, but not pressuring governments whose laws restrict women is even more outrageous in today’s world.

Of course, patriarchal religions are the foundation for much of the discrimination, but religious laws restricting females should not be national laws. Freeing people from religious oppression is a battle for another century, but economic pressures on nations to repeal such governmental laws should be happening now.


Parrish Nelson Hirasaki, Culver City


To the editor: Kudos to the women of Saudi Arabia now that they can legally drive. Is it just me, or does anyone else visualize a long caravan of Saudi women driving — straight out of Saudi Arabia?

Joe Kevany, Mt. Washington

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