Dare To Drive

Saudi Arabia will be experiencing a social revolution, on June 17th,  from women who are campaigning for their right to drive. At the centre of the promotion of the campaign is Manal Alsharif’s video of herself driving on You Tube, here seen through ScarceMedia.

The posting of the video last Thursday led to her arrest and subsequent 5 day sentencing for a number of charges including bypassing law and regulations, driving a car within a city and inciting Saudi women to drive cars.

The campaign is aimed to encourage women to start driving cars using their foreign licenses.  It is not against the law to drive in Saudi Arabia, women are just not able to obtain licenses.

In Saudi, if women cannot use their drivers, they have to hail cabs on street corners and be subjected to intimidating sexual harrasment and jeering from male motorists.

Whilst I often dream of having a chauffeur that would drive me around as I need, I cannot imagine not being able to choose whether I want to drive somewhere or not. I get in my car with ease and go wherever I want with freedom. Nobody needs to know where I am. I enjoy this freedom of choice very much.

I wish this campaign much luck as I don’t think it is going to an easy drive down the Saudi streets for women and I am not so sure how much impact this campaign will really have. However,  if successful, it may be the start of a small slice of progress in this formidably repressive country.

Bunty

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One Comment to “Dare To Drive”

  1. At last the sleepy women of Saud actually wake up and do something about the daily injustices they face – what a patronising law – why have they waited this long to do anything about it?

    I think their wealth makes them lazy. During all the recent furore in arab states, ONE person turned out to demonstrate in S Arabia. And he was arrested.

    I thought they were allowed to drive as long as their father or husband signs a permission slip? In any event, this is a brave woman and I wish her well.

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