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Friday, March 03, 2006

Saudi Golf not For Women

Saudi Arabia's longstanding ban on female drivers went an extra mile this week when women were barred from using golf carts to move around a cultural festival, according to Saudi newspapers.

According to Seham Al-Dosary, an organizer from the company supplying the carts, no clear reasons were given for the decision.


“We suggested to the festival organizers that they use small golf carts for visitors inside the cultural village. The idea was to facilitate the movement of both male and female visitors within the cultural village. We felt that the carts would be particularly useful for the old and the disabled,” Al-Dosary told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

She said that SR400,000 had been spent on the golf carts and that young men and women had been trained to drive them. The idea was that golf carts are small and easy to use and, as she pointed out, “Golf carts are already used in women’s universities in Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi traditionalists object to women driving. Although there is no specific law to forbid it, women cannot obtain driving licences. In remote parts of the kingdom they sometimes drive without licences, and the use of golf carts on private land is another way to circumvent the rules.

/Guardian, Arab News/

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