How this communicate women oppression and the basis for such denouement will now undertake a focal point in the course of this study. In 2001, Saudi Arabi ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which defined discrimination in the following terms:
Any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.
With this, the country bore the responsibilities and obligations to completely eliminate all forms of discrimination of its women. But as we see it today, the refusal to lift the driving ban posed on female driving is definitely not a way to uphold the signed treaty, rather it shows the continuous defiance of Saudi Arabia to grant Muslim women their “fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field”, as determined by the convention.
However, majority of the Muslims alongside Islamic writers and scholars around the world would continue to argue that the driving ban is of religious matters and nothing that UN conventions or of that sort can meddle into. And indeed so, because such premise was established earlier when we learned that the principles of life that guided the Muslim society eventually lead back to the teachings of Muhammad and the Qur’an. For centuries, the Muslim life was built in and around the realms of its religion, solely attributing its traditions to the practices and teachings of Muhammad where it might have had work tens of thousands of years ago. But a new age has come and dawned on humanity, new sets of needs arise, and those that use to be can no longer be simply because circumstances change. Modernity now questions the flexibility of the Islamic law. How far would the present be strained by the decisions of the past? Whereas driving was a never an issue in its formative years, it now remains as one of the most debated and anticipated topic around the world. Rahman, Fazlur (INSERT YEAR!) perfectly summed it up when he wrote:
And the real nature of this crisis is not the fact that the Muslim social institutions in the past have been wrong or irrational but the fact that there has been a social system at all which now needs to be modified and adjusted…The disadvantage of the Muslim society at present juncture is that whereas in the early centuries of development of social institutions in Islam, Islam started from a clean slate, as if it were, and had to carve out ab initio a social fabric --- an activity of which the product was the medieval social system --- now, when the Muslims have to face a situation of fundamental rethinking and reconstruction their acute problem is precisely to determine how...