By: Nikki W.
This Friday, June 17, women in Saudi Arabia will risk arrest by doing something you and I probably do every day: driving their own car. Help them win the right to go wherever they choose, on their own, by e-mailing key Saudi and US decision makers now.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long history of female oppression. Saudi women cannot vote. They cannot leave the country without the approval of a male guardian. Less than 15 percent of the kingdom’s workforce is female. In the neighboring United Arab Emirates, by comparison, women make up more than half of the labor force.
And Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive.
When IT security consultant Manal Al Sharif posted a YouTube video of herself behind the wheel last month, her punishment came swiftly. She was arrested and held for five days. Her detention was later extended by another four days for “further investigation” – even though her five-year-old child was in the hospital, and even though police had all the evidence they could have wanted: not only did the video show Al Sharif driving, but it showed her explaining why she was breaking the driving ban!
The Women2Drive movement is organizing the June 17 act of civil disobedience. Stay up to date by following Women2Drive on Facebookand Twitter. And please join us in showing that the whole world will be watching when Saudi women exercise their right to drive.
Here are some more ways to support Women2Drive:
- Take a video of yourself behind the wheel (safely, of course) and honk to show your support for Saudi women! Send your video firstname.lastname@example.org. The videos are posted to their YouTube channel athttp://www.youtube.com/user/HonkforSaudiWomen.
- Attend the Washington, DC Women’s Drive to Drive Rally at the Saudi Embassy in on Wednesday.Location: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Time: 12:00-4:00 PM Wednesday, June 15th
(via the Feminist Majority Foundation)