Saudi Arabia’s parliament on Monday struck down a bill that could have paved the way for the Kingdom’s women to drive. The Shura Council, the kingdom’s legislative body voted against a proposal to instruct the Labor and Interior Ministries to look into the matter, 65 to 62. In order to gain approval, the bill had to secure 76 votes.
The rejection of a loosely worded bill, instructing the government to create an “auspicious environment” for women’s driving, was debated on social media.
Rnaan tweeted: “A woman really needs a suitable environment – her home. The proposal was originally meant for women who don’t like staying at home. That’s the sad truth.”
المراءة بحاجة لبيئة مجددة
فالمطالبات غالباً ممن لا
يطلن البقاء بالمنزل ❗️
— ᴿᴺᴺᴬᴬᴺᴺ (@Rnnaann) October 31, 2016
Another jubilant Twitter user wrote: “A thousand thanks to the Shura Council, with Allah’s help you made the right decision. Allah bless you.”
“Excellent!” another tweeted. “If it had passed, Judgement Day would have come. It’s become a talking point, which is disgusting already.”
Dura wrote: “Our society is hostile towards women.”
مجتمع عدو للمرأة
— دره (@r_j67) October 31, 2016
Another wondered what “auspicious environment” might mean: “There’s no such thing as appropriate environment – does it mean there should be roads for women and roads for men?”
A gloating man posted sad faces and wrote in English: “No women no drive… I’m sorry.”
No women no drive 😂😂😂💕
i'm sorry 😂
— فهد. (@Lux_Golden) October 31, 2016
Some men were critical of the decision, like Ahmed, who wrote in English: “A roomful of men decide against a basic right for women. Shocker.”
#الشوري_يرفض_قياده_المراه A roomful of men decide against a basic right for women. Shocker.
— Ahmed Ghannam (@FieryPhoenix7) October 31, 2016
A song entitled “No women, no drive,” based on Bob Marley’s famous “No Woman No Cry,” went viral.
— نادر البلوي/ITTI (@nader_itti) October 31, 2016
Waleed posted a video women motorcyclists colliding and wrote in English: “Just want to drive,” complete with a sad face.
— ₩L€£D.A.M🇸 (@welow_20) October 31, 2016
MONA wrote in English: , “i am sure it is not 2016 in Saudi arabia .. are we still living in 1800? where are we going ?”