RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — More than 60 women across Saudi Arabia claimed they drove cars on Saturday in defiance of a ban keeping them from getting behind the wheel, drawing little protest by police in their push for easing restrictions on women in the kingdom.
The campaign's message is that driving should be a woman's choice. The struggle is rooted in the kingdom's hard-line interpretation of Islam known as Wahabbism, with critics warning that women driving could unravel the very fabric of Saudi society.
Though no laws ban women from driving in Saudi Arabia, authorities do not issue them licenses. Women who drove on Saturday had driver's licenses from abroad, activists said.
Activist Aziza Youssef, a professor at King Saud University, and another activist said protest organizers received 13 videos and about 50 phone messages from women showing or claiming they had driven. She said they have no way to verify the messages.
May Al Sawyan, a 32-year-old mother of two and an economic researcher, said she drove from her home in Riyadh to the grocery store and back. Activists uploaded a four-minute video of her driving to the campaign's YouTube account.
Al Sawyan said she was prepared to be jailed if caught by authorities. She said she was far enough from a police car that she was not spotted.
“I just took a small loop,” she said. “I didn't drive for a long way, but it was fine.”
It is not clear whether police turned a blind eye to women driving or simply did not see the scattered, quick spins around towns.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
A division of Trib Total Media is your one-stop-shop for all of your branded merchandise needs.
We specialize in providing quality affordable promotional products for every type of business including non-profits, schools, universities, sports teams and more. With 1000’s of products to choose from, our knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect apparel item or product to suit your needs and budget.
Why use TPSolutions?
• Quality, brand name, screen printed and embroidered apparel
• Competitive prices
• Free design services
• Volume and non-profit discounts available
• Quick turn around
We offer a wide variety of traditional and new digital advertising options customized to fit your needs!
Whether you're just starting out, or you've been a keystone in the community for years, our knowledgeable staff can provide you with a customized package including online banners/advertisements, Social Media Marketing (Facebook / Twitter), Website development, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing solutions and much more!
Contact your local sales rep today for details, personalized proposal and a meeting to discuss how we can meet your needs.