Women in Saudi Arabia took to the streets on Friday to demand the right to drive, posting videos like this one of themselves behind the wheel. As of 11:20 a.m. Eastern Standard Time in the US, 32 women had driven in various locations around the country, according to tweets by activist Heba Al Butairi in Khobar.
Saudi women have to rely on male relatives or paid drivers to get around by car due to a religious edict issued by Muslim clerics. No other Islamic country, however, bans women from driving. The issue came to a head last month when IT worker Manal Al Sharif was detained for nine days after posting a video of herself driving on Youtube.
“We want women from today to begin exercising their rights,” longtime Saudi activist Wajeha al-Huwaidar told AP/MSNBC. “Today on the roads is just the opening in a long campaign. We will not go back.” AP/MSNBC 6/17/2011; Heba Al Butairi Twitter; Women2Drive YouTube Video