Sad reality for women in Saudi Arabia

by Kal El on April 29, 2008 · 8 comments

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Female Teachers Dying in Large Numbers on Dangerous Saudi Roads

The religion of peace pretty much guarantees women their freedom and rights. And just the other day I turned water to whiskey…

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Roads in Saudi Arabia are among the most dangerous in the world, with a high rate of traffic accidents. But one type of victim stands out: female teachers, who are dying at alarming rates because of long commutes through the desert to reach schools in remote locations.

The Saudi government appoints teachers to work in small villages where local staff cannot fill all vacancies. But unlike their male counterparts, female teachers in this conservative Muslim country have difficulty living alone in the villages, forcing them to drive each day; they need permission from a male guardian to live alone and have to find a landlord willing to rent them an apartment.

Nof al-Oneizi was so worried she would die that she wrote to education officials urging them to find her a school nearer to her home in the northern town of al-Jouf, rather than the one she was assigned in a village 108 miles away — a three-hour drive because of the bad roads.

But al-Oneizi’s fears came true before a solution to her problem could be found. The 28-year-old English-language teacher, who was engaged to be married, died in a horrific car accident last November. Five other female teachers, the driver of their van and four family members in the car.

“We were devastated,” said Suad Amri, al-Oneizi’s aunt. “I still have her school papers, all splattered with blood. Her mom can’t look at them. She can’t absorb what has happened to her daughter.”

Nearly 6,000 people died in traffic accidents in 2007 in this country of 27.6 million, according to the Saudi Traffic Department. That is a rate of around 21 deaths per 100,000 people — one of the highest in the world. By comparison, around 14 per 100,000 people were killed in road accidents in the United States in 2006, according to the most recent statistics from the Transportation Department.

Wow, it’s so great that the religion of peace looks out for the well being of its women, and elevates them to such an extent. Those muslims certainly care about the well-being of their mothers, sisters, and daughters.

FOXNews broke this one out into the open (I was already well aware of it due to my proximity to Saudi Barbaria).

Infidelesto
: more oppression of women in Saudi Arabia….Putting things in context, it should be noted that although traffic accidents all around the world happen everyday, it is the restricted rights of women and their mistreatment that puts them in these difficult and dangerous situations. They don’t have choices or options available to them as women that they could make to better their situations.

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  • Robert B.

    I worked in Saudi for two years, leaving in April 2001 (I’m glad I missed their party in September of that year). One thing that really scared me more than anything else was the way the locals drive. They have a 120 kph speed limit on the remote area roads, and these just-one-generation-away-from-camel-jockeys would pass me like I was standing still. That, and the heargear they wear only allow line-of-sight vision… no periferal vision at all. No wonder they have such a high death rate there.

    But since I have been away from there, and after the events of 9/11, all I can really say is… “So? What’s the down side?”

  • S.Balli

    Dear All, Yes its true and its very unsafe drive with 120kph speed ,but its also not correct “Make picture of Muslims and Arabs “as most of expats says one step away from CAMELS ?!To Drive.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!We are all get our license tru Govermant Traffic Schools and have valid driving license signed and stamped with international tutors and instructors .So be kind .And please do not visit Saudi if you do not like

  • http://plancksconstant.org/ bernie

    Does wearing veil/hijab also contribute to the accident rate?

    Just FYI, I linked to your article from <a href=”http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2008/08/speeding_does_not_cause_accidents_1.html”>Speeding Does Not Cause Accidents</a>

  • http://plancksconstant.org/ bernie

    Oops, here’s a better rendition of the link:
    Speeding Does Not Cause Accidents

  • Mo_Jamal

    Wow robert, what can I say? Directly blaming the general population for 9/11 and then implying that the loss of women and children is of no consequence, amazing logic kudos.

  • Mo_Jamal

    kal, I am afraid that you're reasoning is faulty. Stemming from personal experience, ignorance or rather, ignorance of ingnorance is the cause, sadly, education is a low priority in Saudi Arabia due to private interests namely the royal family in petrol revenues and power but religion is not the cause its just a tool for the corrupt seeking power.

    By the way, I am from Canada and lived there for the most part of 8 years and quite fluent in arabic. So I am well aware of the social and political aspects of the country.

    P.S Saudi Barbaria huh?-Ill concealed attempt at contempt or a freudian slip?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ChristopherL ChristopherL

    Yes, the Islamic world is to blame for the hate being preached from it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ChristopherL ChristopherL

    Right, Islam is never responsible for anything. Thank God you are here to educate us….