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Saudi Women Back Behind the Wheel

By June 30, 2012

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manalSaudi women are back behind the wheel again -- this time to mark one year since the right-to-drive protests began. From Bloomberg:

Aziza al-Yousef said she took a 15- minute drive in the Saudi capital today to mark the first anniversary of a campaign to end the ban on women drivers in the kingdom.

Al-Yousef, a 52-year-old computer science university lecturer, said she encountered no problems driving in support of a call by the My Right to Dignity campaign. Saudi Arabia follows the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam, and religious police formally known as the General Presidency for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice ensure strict gender segregation at public places such as restaurants and schools.

..."Society will get used to seeing women behind the wheel," the My Right to Dignity campaign said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. "We demand the protection of women drivers from any legal sanctions, and we demand that authorities protect women drivers in the street from any harassments they could face."

Al-Yousef and about 100 other women across the kingdom haven't stopped driving since the campaign was started, she said. On most occasions, it was out of necessity, she said, citing examples such as a woman who took her son who was suffering from an asthma attack to a hospital in the middle of the night.

And who is behind My Right to Dignity? Meet the amazing woman whose YouTube video of her drive through Khobar sparked a revolution: Manal al-Sharif.

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