Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saudi Arabia: Baby you can drive my car!

Back in the days when women were not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia (that's up until two days ago if you lost lost your calculator!) I was working in an ad agency in Jeddah. We noticed that women had an exceptional spending power which was going utapped simply because they couldn't visit the Toyota/Lexus showroom because the sales people were all male. So we built a showroom exclusively for women complete with an internet cafe (the only monitoring as to the websites they were entering were the officially banned sites in the kingdom - which is plenty!). The launching campaign featured a "for women only" headline and a car door with a female handbag strap on it. The whole thing was so drummed up in the media and on the opening night, hoards of Saudi ladies came in wishing to view the Toyota/Lexus handbags. Now try driving those on the kingdom's risky roads!
PS: I must have misunderstood apparently, Saudi women can vote, get elected but not drive cars. Now here's a catch, what if women at one point can be the majority of the Shawra council (now that they can be candidates and have enough women to vote for them)? What if they pass a law in favor of driving cars? What if the law passes? What would happen then? (Honk if you understand the twisted logic).
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