You’re probably aware of Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers, which is just one form of oppression women in the Middle Eastern country are subjected to. After news of a Saudi cleric’s ridiculous comments on the female driving ban picked up, Saudi activist and comedian Hisham Fageeh released a parody music video last week titled “No Woman, No Drive.”
“No Woman, No Drive,” which is a spin on Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” song, has gone viral since it was released over the weekend and has gotten more than 5 million views so far.
Check it out:
As hilarious as the video is (and reminiscent of something Sasha Baron Cohen might do), what Fageeh is mocking is really no laughing matter–the oppression of Saudi women. Not only are women not allowed to drive, they are required to completely cover their body, with the exception of the hands and eyes, when they go out. Women are also required to have a male guardian in Saudi Arabia.
“Say I remember when you used to sit, in the family car, but backseat. Ovaries are safe and well, so you can make lots and lots of babies,” Fageeh sang in “No Woman, No Drive,” mocking a claim by a Saudi cleric that said driving would damage a woman’s ovaries and cause birth defects. Not only did the comments made by cleric Sheikh Saleh Al-Loheidan spark Fageeh’s song, it also sparked a driving protest on Saturday.
“If a woman drives a car,” Al-Loheidan said in September, “it could have a negative physiological impact…Medical studies show that it would automatically affect a woman’s ovaries and that it pushes the pelvis upward.” Al-Loheidan also sad, “We find that for women who continuously drive cars, their children are born with varying degrees of clinical problems.”
After Al-Loheidan made his comments, many Saudi women decided to protest the ban by driving on Saturday. At least 12 women were arrested and 6 others were fined by Saudi police for their act of defiance.
One Saudi woman posted a video of her drive on October 26, and you can see her getting thumbs up from male drivers that pass her:
What do you think of “No Woman, No Drive” and the Saudi driving ban? Respond below.
[Image via YouTube]