Saudi woman flouts driving ban on YouTube

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

A Saudi woman activist marked this year's International Women's Day by defying a ban on women driving in the ultra-conservative kingdom and posted a video of her act on YouTube.

Wajiha Huwaidar, a leading activist in a campaign to allow women to get behind the wheel in the desert kingdom, confirmed to AFP on Sunday that it was her in the video posted on the popular website.

She said she recorded the video while she drove in a deserted area in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and posted it on the Internet on Saturday to mark International Women's Day.

In the video, Huwaidar appeared driving calmly as few cars passed by along the almost empty road.

"Women can drive in the countryside. There is no problem with that. Some women do the school run everyday without being obstructed," she claimed.

"What is important is to allow women to drive in urban areas."

In September, more than 1,100 Saudi men and women signed a petition to King Abdullah urging him to lift the controversial ban on women driving in the oil-rich kingdom, which applies a strict form of Sharia (Islamic law).

The petition - a brainchild of Huwaidar and other activists - stressed that Islam does not put constraints on women such as the driving ban and points out that women already "drive in villages and remote rural areas."

A group of 47 women defied the ban on driving by roaming the streets of the capital Riyadh in 15 cars in November 1990. They were swiftly rounded up by police and penalised, while their male guardians were reprimanded.

The following year, a fatwa (religious edict) was issued by the then mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz, prohibiting women from driving cars.

Related:
Companies
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
How to increase productivity

How to increase productivity

With the desire to develope skills, knowledge, and competence...

Should I hire friends?

Should I hire friends?

Tamara Pupic looks at whether you should hire friends to work...

Building a BIZness: Q&A with Hazel Jackson

Building a BIZness: Q&A with Hazel Jackson

Since landing in Dubai in the 1990s, Hazel Jackson has built...

Most Discussed