Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Amnesty International: Support Saudi Women in Their Driving Struggle

In honor of International Women's Day on March 8, 2012, Amnesty International has issued a call for people around the world to voice their support for lifting the ban on Saudi women driving. They ask people to upload photos of themselves with signs of support onto Flickr.  Here is the link for posting your photo.

A link to their press release is here and below, their video on YouTube.

The excerpt about Saudi women driving from their press release:

Drivers of change in Saudi Arabia

Due to Saudi Arabia’s male-controlled “guardianship” system, women are discriminated against and denied control over their own lives on a wide range of social, personal, and economic issues.

Perhaps one of the most unusual, yet pervasive, restrictions is a de facto ban on Saudi Arabian women driving in the country, even when they hold valid international driver’s licenses and freely drive elsewhere in the world.

Last year, women activists re-launched the campaign to protest against the ban called “Women2Drive”, which used social media to urge women with international driver’s licenses to take to the roads from 17 June 2011 onwards.

Scores of women participated in the action, with many arrested and forced to sign pledges never to drive again. At least one woman was tried and sentenced to 10 lashes for defying the ban.

Although Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah announced women would have the right to vote in municipal elections in 2015, the divisive driving ban has yet to be overturned.

Amnesty International sees the ban as symbolic of the many areas of life where women in the kingdom continue to have their human rights heavily restricted.

The organization is calling on people around the world to share images and messages of solidarity with Saudi Arabian women activists, supporting them in their “drive to freedom”.

1 comment:

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