Ahh. Yeah. There is a reason. The biggest one is control. That, and the fact that you are covered head-to-toe in black and it would be dangerous. Not just to you, but to everyone else on the road as well. Take off that veil so you can actually see before you get behind the wheel of a car. You might want to consider hiking that abeya up just a bit, too, so it doesn't get tangled in your feet and twisted around the gas and brake pedals. Just some friendly advice. Don't you know the statistics for PCRC, here? High. They are very high.
Have to commend the young woman for her tenacity, though. Even if she is being naive about the reason why women will never drive in The Sandbox. I just don't see it happening. At least not while I am here.
A 24-year-old woman studying in the U.S. [but, of course!], Areej, has launched a website / project called "N7nu - We the Women." [I have no clue what the N7nu is supposed to stand for. Perhaps if you want to be taken seriously, Areej, you should use real words and not teenage text-speak.] The article says, "A post-graduate thesis on women driving in the Kingdom has turned into a massive campaign..." Massive must be a "relative" term. Areej "was inspired to write a thesis on the subject, as her father, after retirement, would juggle his time in chaufferuring her, her mother and three sisters." She says her father did this "as he felt responsible for the women folk of his family and did not want to rely on drivers." That is a statement that can be interpreted in more than just one way. But, okay... She says, "I always felt guilty for few months that he used to drive me around. Driving four girls in one house is a hard task. We had drivers quitting after becoming fed up by the amount of places we needed driving to." [Sic.] Calling B.S. on that. Drivers come here as a way to make money for their families back home in other countries. Those drivers will drive you anywhere you want to go - and anytime. They quit because they are not being paid. For the sake of argument, we'll go with your version of why they quit, Areej.
The young woman's thesis was started a year ago and her website was launched as part of her project. The website "has gained its own momentum. It is a place where differing views from both men and women, Saudis and non-Saudis, are being expressed openly and freely." I went to her website. I must have missed something. There are seven comments - total - on the entire site - written by two people - one of them is Areej. She does have some videos - three of them - and as of my writing this, they have been viewed 409 times. I didn't watch the videos. They can be seen here.
Personally, I don't have a problem with women driving. I do not disagree with what Areej is trying to do and I wish her success in her campaign. I do, however, think that personal safety is going to be an issue. You want to drive? Fine. But you MUST remove your veil. You can leave your headscarf on. Heck, the majority of the men driving in this country are wearing head-coverings too. Is it a problem for them? Well, yeah, it is. For half of them. The half that wears their guthra down the side of their face so that it covers the area where they should have peripheral vision - and they don't. Picture it like blinders on a horse. Blinders are put on horses so that they cannot see what is coming up beside them - they can see only straight ahead. There. That is the problem. How many accidents are caused because of obstructed vision? Bet no one has ever given that any consideration and it likely will never be attributed to the cause; vehicle speed isn't much of a consideration, either, and rarely attributed to the cause. But we all know better.
"The issue or the idea of women not being able to drive in Saudi Arabia is something that people don't talk about, although it is a pretty big deal." Oh, really? It has been talked about and talked about and talked about - since we got here - and that was almost seven years ago. The proverbial dead horse has been beaten and beaten and beaten. Again, I am not disagreeing that women should be allowed to drive in this part of the world. Isn't this the ONLY country in the world where women can't drive? Areej says, "We have a very complicated culture." [Another statement that can be interpreted in more than one way. Ha. Understatement, that.] It is a culture of control, Areej. If women are going to be allowed to drive then the control that men have over women will be quashed. I think you and I both know that that is never going to happen.
Good luck with this Areej. Get back to us and let us know how it all works out. You are 24. You are on the right track and will, no doubt, go far with your education and personal goals. You just won't be driving yourself there - wherever it is that you go. Not if you are living in The Sandbox, you won't. [Visit Areej's site, "We the Women," here.]