When Will Saudi Women Finally Win The Right To Drive?

Manal al-Sharif

Manal al-Sharif publicly defied the ban on Saudi women drivers (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME)

One year ago, Manal al-Sharif, divorced mother of one, took it upon herself to do something, women across the world do every day: Drive.

In May 2011, Manal al-Sharif got in a car and drove through the streets of Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Filmed by an acquaintance, al-Sharif followed the 1990 demonstration in which Saudi women took on the streets of the capital and drove without permission. Her action not only caused an uproar in the kingdom, but also laid ground for the now well-known Women2Drive campaign that celebrates its anniversary on June 17.

Activists around the world took to social media to support the campaign, including Amnesty activists who recently collected portraits of activists supporting the right to drive for Saudi women.


Women Activists Prepare to Defy Saudi Arabian Driving Ban

Tomorrow women across Saudi Arabia are going to do something drastic.  Something women in many parts of the world do every day without much thought while running errands, picking the kids up from school, going to work. They are going to drive.

A Saudi woman gets out of a car after being given a ride by her driver in Riyadh © Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

An online campaign has called on women who hold international driving licences to start driving on Saudi Arabian roads on June 17th.

The “Women2Drive” campaign has used Facebook and Twitter to encourage women to drive as part of their normal daily activities rather than converge in one place.