Thursday, June 16, 2011

Women 2Drive

You may already be aware of the women's activism that's going on in Saudi Arabia. But any chance to raise awareness is worthwhile.

Tomorrow marks the Women 2Drive campaign in Saudi Arabia, where women with international driving licenses are being asked to drive cars to their daily destinations. (As I hear myself say that, I can't help but shake my head at the fact that this simple action is considered a brazen act in Saudi Arabia). This is to defy the ban on driving that they face. Technically, there is no law banning women from the act- instead, it's a religious edict, or fatwa. The women who get behind the wheel tomorrow will risk being banned from work and/or travel, and even imprisoned. And worse threats have been made.

I admire these women, especially because I can't imagine how intimidating it must be to chip away at gender inequalities and patriarchal customs in Saudi Arabia. What a (seemingly) insurmountable task. Respect to these women.

Read more here and here.

Update (6/17): Here are some Tweets that have come in today, although there's no way to verify their authenticity:

@bualkhair: "#WomenRights My wife is driving my old car right now in Jeddah and everything is fine :)"
@maazittekh: "My MOM is considering driving on Riyadh streets today ! #Women2Drive ..I'm surprised myself !"
@SBassam: "t's a little ridiculous, but the reason I'm not driving today is a direct result of the ban: I don't know how to. #Saudi #women2drive"
@jottewalt: "A Saudi journalist told us that he saw 5 or 6 women drive past the police in the capital Riyadh. They did nothing! #Women2Drive"

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