A Saudi cleric has caused uproar after trying to justify his country’s ban on women drivers by claiming it damages their ovaries.
Displaying what is best described as a shaky grasp of the female anatomy, Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan told Saudi news website Sabq.org: "If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards."
Al-Lohaidan, who acts as a Government adviser, continued: "That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees."
His ridiculous comments come as women in Saudi Arabia have prepared to stage a ‘day of defiance’ by openly flouting their prohibition.
It is the latest in the series of campaigns, which have stretched over the last twenty years, aimed at challenging the draconian ban.
While women in the middle-eastern kingdom are not explicitly banned from driving by law, they are subject to fines and arrest by the police if caught behind the wheel. On top of this, only men are allowed to acquire a driving licence.
The ban also has no basis in Islamic law or political agenda, with King Abdullah previously admitting the ban was purely societal.
This isn’t the first time country’s academics have put forward laughable excuses to justify the ban on women drivers. Previously, the Majlis al-Ifta' al-A'ala religious council stated that allowing women to drive would result in an increase in homosexuality in the country, as well as greater use of pornography and prostitutes.
September 30, 2013