A well-known conservative cleric, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan, says that women Saudis driving could lead to reproductive health problems. That’s right — women who get behind the wheel are putting the safety of their ovaries at risk. At least, that’s what the radical cleric from Saudi Arabia told local news in a recent interview. He says he is pleading with Saudi women to use “reason” instead of “emotions and passions” on this issue, for their own good.
Sound a bit absurd? Don’t worry, Sheikh al-Lohaidan says his conclusions come from “medical studies.” As Yahoo! News reports, these so-called studies have proven that women who drive vehicles have their ovaries affected by a natural upward push in the pelvis. He claims that women whose children are found to have disorders or health problems are usually regular drivers.
Of course, the studies proving the conservative Saudi cleric’s ridiculous claims were not revealed.
Doubt the validity of the cleric’s sources? So does gynecologist Mohammed Baknah. Speaking to local media, Baknah says that he is unaware of any scientific study that has shown a link between driving and reproductive health issues, reports Huffington Post.
In recent years many women in Saudi Arabia and human rights groups have rallied against a prohibition disallowing female Saudi drivers. Though there are actually no laws on the books that prevent women from driving, only men are given licenses. In the past, women found driving were arrested.
On October 26, Saudi women drivers plan to take to the streets, driving cars throughout the day. No doubt Sheik al-Lohaidan’s recent statement was inspired by these plans. Although King Abdullah says he is working on relaxing legal restrictions against women in Saudi Arabia there have been no announced plans to change driving laws.
Likely also prompted by the coming protests, another conservative cleric has called on citizens to confront and harass women Saudis driving in public.