Saudi Women Defy Driving Ban

Saudi women take the wheel in defiance of the kingdom's driving ban, while men and children are seen flashing thumbs-up signs in a show of support

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As a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia’s driving ban on women heats up, one leading female blogger flouted the conservative kingdom’s restrictions and documented it on Twitter and YouTube.

The blogger, Eman al-Nafjan, who has been calling on Saudi women to upload videos of themselves driving in different parts of the kingdom, is seen filming another woman driving in Riyadh, the capital. The blogger was later stopped by police and detained.

In the video, a woman wearing a burqa is seen driving around the streets of Riyadh. The clip also shows men supporting the women’s cause, as they flash thumbs-up signs to a woman behind the wheel.

This is not the first time that female activists have tried to use YouTube clips of themselves driving to make the point that there is nothing dangerous or immoral about Saudi women sitting behind the wheel. On International Women’s Day in 2008, activist Wajeha al-Huwaider uploaded a video of herself driving.

11 comments
Rachelle
Rachelle

I may be wrong, but doesn't a "thumbs up" in the Middle East mean something completely different than here? From what I understood it was an offensive gesture. Sort of like "up yours."


Channah
Channah

There are many women who cover their bodies so completely that by the time they are around middle age they have weak bones and bad health conditions for lack of Vitamin D.  The sun cannot reach their bodies and this does great harm.  From a health standpoint, it is unsafe to cover up constantly when outside.

mohammed
mohammed

@Openminded1 being a Saudi male I would answer to your comment, 1st I live in the state but I have never been to a club or do the stuff that u said. Second, women who cover up not because of their men!!! who told u that its about our religion and part goes to the women her self its her choice to cover up her full face or not. In face, when my mom visited me last summer I was telling her to show off her face because people were like talking to her all the time but she didn't want too! so I couldn't say anything thats doesn't mean I'm the one who told her or my father who wasn't here at that time!

Openminded1
Openminded1

What a backward country, full of male chauvinist pigs who make there women cover up and say they can not drive etc. I love when the Saudi men are living here in the U.S. or visiting they go to strip clubs pick up hookers and love looking at American women. But god for bid one of their women shows a little skin it is a disgrace and murder time. What a BS double standard. 

eetom
eetom

When will we see the first Saudi woman astronaut?  That will be the day.

SarahConfran
SarahConfran

@mohammed @Openminded1 Mohammed: In America (or any country that treats women as anything more than property) I can cover my entire body if I chose. If I walked around with everything but my eyes covered I may get strange looks but I wouldn't be arrested or beaten. However if I did the opposite in Saudi Arabia (and God forbid I walked outside of my house - actually my husband's house again I would be considered merely property- by myself) I could be arrested and subjected to a public beating. Don't go around saying its always a woman's choice in Saudi Arabia to cover up. A woman may choose to cover up but she also has zero other legal options. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@mohammed @Openminded1 Bs American Miltary women in Saudi Arabia are ordered  not to show skin and to cover their heads.  I have seen Saudi women in 108 degree weather covered up from head to toe. They are treated like 2nd class citizens. I less they come here to the states.

mohammed
mohammed

@Openminded1 @mohammed I would rather see them covering their body than watching a naked women werecking on a ball !!!!! shame on that girl really! 

answering to your comment I know its freaking hot there but when since you born u cover your body you will not feel that hot I mean they got used to it, again its part of our religion that women have to cover their body, I wish that I could explain to you more but will never get it unless you really wanna understand.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@mohammed @Openminded1 My friend i would rather see Myly Cyrus covered up too. You have many intelligent and educated women in your country, and i am aware of your religion, as i am aware of a double standard for men. You have many pretty women in your country, but you are also racist they are out cast from there family if they marry outside their own religion and to someone who is not from Saudi Arabia .