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SAUDI ARABIA: Speak Up For Women's Right to Drive

A still from Manal Al-Sharif's driving video

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not permitted to drive cars. Saudi Women for Driving, a coalition of Saudi activists working to end driving inequality, explains how the ban on mobility harms Saudi women. "Our lack of this basic right to drive our own cars has been repeatedly exploited by abusive fathers, brothers, husbands and even hired drivers," wrote the group in an open letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Just this week a Saudi woman reported she was raped by her driver."

On May 22, activist Manal Al-Sharif was arrested after sharing a video clip of herself behind the wheel to a video on a social media site. Al-Sharif was one of the organizers of a campaign calling for women around the country to begin openly driving on June 17, in defiance of the ban. She has since been released, apparently after agreeing to cease her involvement in the campaign. As June 17 approaches, Saudi Women for Driving is calling on the US to take leadership on this issue and speak out in support of the June 17 campaign.

Sign their petition on Change.org to urge Hillary Clinton to make a strong statement supporting women's right to drive and to end the US's official silence on the issue.

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