International Women’s Day and motor sport in India

It is interesting to discover how countries around the world are encouraging women and motorsports. On March 8th 2016, over 240 cars and 1000 women took part in a Mumbai Rally to the Valley. Click on https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://indianexpress.com/photos/picture-gallery-others/mumbai-women-car-rally-2016-wiaa-all-women-car-rally-women-on-driving-seat-for-beti-bachao-beti-padhao/&ct=ga&cd=CAEYACoUMTAwMzg3MTIyODY0MTM5NTg4MjgyHWVhNGZjZjQ4MGJiM2Q5Mjc6Y29tLmF1OmVuOkFV&usg=AFQjCNHVyOBqJuX1V4dpcN3dwAniiRy_IQ

One can juxtapose this enjoyment of driving and control of machinery with women who are still prohibited from driving in Saudi Arabia because of the deeply held religious beliefs behind its official laws.

I experienced this first hand several year ago on an organized long distance driving tour where the designated route crossed desert in Saudi Arabia between the border posts of Oman and UAE. No women were allowed to drive their cars in S A  and we all sought special permission to use right hand drive vehicles. This was because female passengers were now sitting on the left hand side ( male driver on the right) . For a country where cars drive on the right hand side of the road, command sentry posts are on the left of the car necessitating us female passengers to hand over documents. But Saudi men are not supposed to touch or accept anything from womens’ hands. There was a hiccup in the pre-planned permission, the sentries were particularly officious and we waited ten hours. The denouement was that we arrived at the Saudi/UAE border at the other end with one minute to spare and like Cindarellas, our visas ran out at midnight.