Saudi Women Defy Driving Ban in Coordinated Protest

Oct 26, 2013 9:20am

Women in Saudi Arabia took to the streets today in a coordinated campaign against the country’s restrictive driving policies, defying a ban on women drivers in the conservative kingdom.

Organizers of a campaign against Saudi policies that bar women from obtaining driver’s licenses had encouraged Saudi women to climb behind the wheel and post videos and photographs of their forays onto the streets.

In the run-up to today’s day of action, Saudi authorities had warned women not to violate the ban.

But despite the pressure, some women still hit the streets. The October 26 campaign released videos it said showed women driving in Saudi Arabia.


A woman drives in Riyadh today, according to the campaign.

In previous weeks, the campaign garnered support for a petition supporting women’s right to drive.

Yesterday, one user uploaded a video that he said showed him teaching his mother to drive.

Opposition to women driving runs high in Saudi Arabia, where a mix of conservative Islamic ideology combined with local traditions has resulted in restrictions on women’s civil liberties.

The campaign’s official website appeared to have been hacked today. “I am against women driving,” a message posted on the site read.

But organizers running the campaign’s official Twitter account said the campaign would continue past today.


In this video, posted today, a woman driver says she is in Al-Hasa, in eastern Saudi Arabia.

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