Today Saudi Arabia stands as the only country in the world that prevents women from driving. This ban came to be in 1957 and was strictly enforced by the Interior Ministry. After over half a decade, women have finally had enough of this age old ban. They have taken to the streets and are walking in a silent protest. They are even walking without their guardianship, a move that has garnered tons of attention.
The organizer of this campaign is named Mariam Alhubail and she has taken to twitter that she wants to encourage women to take to the streets alone and walk for their freedom to do basic task. She also stated that she will walk alone until she able to drive on the streets yet again.
One of the initial uprises by women wanting to drive bloomed with the Arab Spring that took place in 2011. Despite the growing unrest of the female citizens, the government has not shown any concern for the matter. Last year, the top advisory council refused to even look into the possibility of allowing females to drive.
The unrest goes back before the Arab Spring. In 2008, Saudi activist, Wajjeha al-Huwaider launched the right to drive campaign and filmed herself driving on woman’s day. The short video led to her imprisonment.
Although the country is said have been making small changes toward giving women more freedom, it appears we’ve only heard the words with zero actions. Even if women are allowed to drive in the years to come, it’ll only be gracing the tip of the iceberg in a country where women can’t even see a doctor without having a man’s permission. Although driving would be a step in the right direction to see more women playing a role in Saudi Arabian society.