I sign the « Let them drive » call
Dear Saudi Arabian women,
It’s been months now since so many of you have started claiming your right to drive. Some of you have been questioned by police and punished for having staged protests or having filmed yourselves driving. However, last March you were granted the right to drive bicycles under specific conditions.
The freedom of movement is a universal right, recognised all over the world, that doesn’t break Saudi law, but calls for a legitimate evolution of this country’s traditions.
We want to let you know that you are not alone: the international public opinion supports your struggle, which is a universal one and therefore legitimate.
We, citizens of the world, call on to the Saudi Arabian authorities to grant you the right to drive, as a pledge of development and freedom.
Let’s gather at the Trocadéro on wednesday, november 27 at 9:30 A.M sharp
Avec Ari Vatanen, Hend Chaouch, Michel Taube et l’association « Toutes à moto », venez à vélo, en vélib, en scooter, à moto ou en voiture devant le parvis des droits de l’homme pour une photo de soutien avec les femmes saoudiennes.
In Saudi Arabia, women are claiming the right to drive their own vehicle. They are not able to do so whereas the Saudi law doesn’t forbid it. Last March, the Saudi authorities granted women to ride a bicycle but under strict conditions. On October 26th, under the pressure, some women renounced to rally for the respect of their rights but decided to gather for a new date on November 30th.
The “Let them drive” campaign aims to show they are not alone and also that public international opinion supports them in this struggle, with respect of the Saudi authorities. This demand is legitimate as Saudi Arabia in the only country in the world in which women are forbidden to drive
The Saudi women have been claiming this right for a few years. This movement started in 2011 when, Manal al-Sharif, a computer scientist and founder of women2drive website, blocked by the authorities, released a video of her driving in the streets of Riyadh, on YouTube and shared it on Facebook (She was detained during 9 days for this).
On October 26, many were supposed to rally but renounced because of the pressure. Some were arrested, were to pay a fine and sign a promise to respect the rules of the Saudi kingdom. All around the world, the media spread this initiative.
At the same time, the first Saudi fictional film “Wadjada”, directed by Haifaa al-Mansour was released last year and highlighted the proscription for women to ride a bike. Last march, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice stated that women could use a bike then, for recreational use from then but according to the some following conditions: they must be dressed in decent clothing, they must be accompanied by a male member of the family, they must not use a bike to go shopping or in areas where there are lots of men.
The Saudi law does not explicitly fordid women to drive their vehicle, customs do.