Challenging their culture’s conservative gender laws, a group of Saudi Arabian women from the Committee of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars is preparing to petition King Abdullah to allow women to, well, drive cars.
The current driving ban applies to all women in Saudi Arabia, whatever their nationality.
It was originally unofficial, but became law after an incident in 1990, when 47 women challenged the authorities by taking their families’ cars out for a drive.
After strong criticism from the Saudi religious authorities, the women were jailed for one day, their passports confiscated and many lost their jobs.
A founding member of the Committee of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars, Fawzia al-Oyouni, said its electronic petition would highlight what many Saudi men and women consider a “stolen right”.