Last Sunday Manal al-Sherif, Saudi woman was arrested for launching a campaign to challenge the ban on women driving in the country and posting a video of herself driving on YouTube. She obtained her driving license in the US.
According to the news article in Gulf News,
Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive and must have written approval from a designated guardian – a father, husband, brother or son – to leave the country, work or travel abroad.
This is not the first time that a woman in Saudi Arabia got behind the wheels and filmed herself driving. There was Wajeha Al Huwaider in 2009 hoping that this act of “civil disobedience” will create a wave of change and reform towards fair treatment to women, including allowing them to drive on the kingdom’s public roads. But alas, nothing has come out of it even if there is no official law in Saudi Arabia stating that women cannot drive. It is simply a social taboo that has been taken to the extreme like many other things in Saudi – and sadly, continues until this very day.
The current driving ban applies to all women in Saudi Arabia, regardless of their nationality, and it’s been a topic of heated public debate in recent years.
In a world not too far away from Saudi Arabia, women can drive in Dubai (and the whole of UAE) without any restrictions. We all hope the same kind of basic right is granted to all the women in Saudi Arabia, someday soon.
It’s amazing how restrictive some cultures are towards women. Makes me happy to live in another place!
Talk about living in the middle ages. What are the men there so afraid of????
Sure it makes you happy to live in a place where that doesn’t happen, but it’s still such a sad thing.
I had no idea that this kind of thing even existed! I’m really shocked actually-Being in the US, I can’t imagine woman not being able to drive.
I hope, like you, that steps can be taken in the future to bring equality to all woman in Saudi and everywhere else!
Unless these things are made public, they don’t exist for the rest of the world. Silence is a good cover, and what we don’t know makes us incapable of reacting.
I didn’t know that the ban applied to ALL women regardless of nationality. I assumed that if you were an American woman in Saudi Arabia, you could drive while there, but aparantly not. Very sad for women in that country and very brave for the women who are trying to make change happen. I applaud them for their efforts.