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Women driving for change in Saudi Arabia

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Women driving for change in Saudi Arabia


Inspired by the uprisings sweeping the Arab world some women in Saudi Arabia are demanding what most females take for granted – the right to drive.

There is no written law banning women from driving but in reality licences are issued locally and they are not given to women.

Manal Alsharif posted a video on YouTube, showing her driving while she explains her reasoning and calls on other women to do the same.

She was later arrested and faces charges of “besmirching the country’s reputation abroad and stirring up public opinion”.

But that is not stopping other women activists from backing the campaign. One woman, who did not want to be identified said: “If I can drive a car myself, I don’t have to have a male relative to drive me. I can do my own work, meet the needs of the household such as driving the children to school, and all the other things I need to do as part of daily life, without facing a possible problem from a taxi driver or from a foreign man, and this way I can be safe.”

The last time women attempted something similar was back in 1990. But the government cracked down hard on them. Some were fired from their jobs and arrested.

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