Saudi Women Want Right to Drive

Activists call on Hillary Clinton to support their campaign.

By Lesley Kennedy • Reporter

Having a license to drive may be something American women take for granted, but in Saudi Arabia it’s a right women are fighting for.

And they’re hoping Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will get behind the wheel of their initiative.

According to a press release from social change platform, more than 10,000 people from all 50 states have endorsed an open letter by Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists asking Clinton to issue a public statement in support of their right to drive.

The campaign comes in the wake of the arrest and jailing of Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi mom called the “Saudi Rosa Parks.” She dared to drive her car in the country—the only one in the world that bans women from driving cars or riding bicycles. 

“. . . Given the recent arrests of women trying to drive, now is the time for the U.S. to show its muscle and make that pressure public . . . ,” the letter to Clinton reads. “We believe that you making a public statement of support for Saudi Arabia opening the country’s roads to women would be a game changing moment. . . . Now, as we build the largest Saudi women’s protest movement in decades, we need your help.”

Here’s hoping the campaigns and protests will be a driving force for change.

Click here to read the full letter.

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First Published June 3, 2011

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