For most people in the world, driving is considered a right of passage a basic right but never a privilege. Saudi Arabia is the only major country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. The country denies them the opportunity to get behind the wheel. In today’s pursuit for equality among genders many are attempting to ratify this including a group of United States Senators.
Saudi Women for Driving, an activist group is campaigning to lift the ban keeping women from behind the wheel. Last month, the activist group pleaded with Subaru to stop selling cars in the country, presumably because the automaker has increasingly marketed and catered to increasing number of women car shoppers. Despite being called into action, Subaru has decided to remain neutral in this campaign.
The group received an even bigger boost in the form of female U.S. Senators who are demanding Saudi leaders to lift the ban. A total of 14 senators of the seventeen women senators from both sides plus U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently pled their case in a letter to King Abdullah. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wrote “The prohibition on women driving motor vehicles, even in cases of emergency, makes it impossible for citizens to exercise a basic human right.”
While the letter acknowledges that the king has appointed Saudi Arabia’s first female deputy minister and has created a university that allows men and women to study side by side, the senators assert that “more must be done” and that lifting the driving ban is a critical step in the right direction.
The group started the campaign in May for this basic human right. In addition to calling on world leaders for support, the women have coordinated protests by defying the law and driving cars in public.