Saudi Women Were Protest-Driving All Over the Place Yesterday

Yesterday, dozens of women in Saudi Arabia defied the pointless, unofficial ban on women driving by — you’ll never guess — driving all over the damn place and posting videos online of their automotive adventures.

Yes, despite religious leaders with no medical training warning them that driving = ovary meltdown, Saudi women got behind the wheels of their cars yesterday and drove, something Saudi authorities warned they would try to prevent with force if necessary. A reporter with PBS Newshour conducted a Skype interview yesterday with two of the activists who’ve been fighting the driving ban for a long time now. One of those activists, Dr. Madeha Al Ajroush, has been campaigning for would-be female drivers in Saudi Arabia for 20 years:


According to CBS’s coverage of the driving protest, support for Saudi women driving has been lukewarm, both among the public and among government officials. Though Saudi clerics have made plenty of outrageously inane claims about why women shouldn’t drive, one Saudi prince was more than willing to concede back in April that women being able to drive would only be a good thing because it would help the economy by curbing Saudi Arabia’s reliance on foreign drivers. Nevermind that Prince AlWaleed bin Talal’s argument was couched in xenophobia — progress often comes at a maddeningly slow drip until that one day when a bunch of people get so fed up they go for an illicit Saturday drive.

[CBS], [PBS Newshour]

Image via AP, Omar al-Abdullah