Although women are not directly banned from driving on their own, Saudi Arabia’s laws state that local licenses are required to drive. For women, these licenses are far from available making it so that Saudi women cannot drive any vehicle legally.
The Internet buzzed with activity as activist campaigns called for Saudi women to protest by driving with Women2Drive at the front. Women2Drive is currently carrying out driving lessons online for women and urging Saudis to use foreign licenses.
Facebook groups have been created and filled by thousands of both Saudi males and females willing to stand up to the government which has long argued that women driving would lead to salacious behaviors between independent females and male strangers.
Activists insist that this campaign will continue until a royal decree is effectively issued resulting in the lifting of the “ban” on women driving.
However the government faces political repercussions from its ultra-conservative religious sections or international denigration if it insists on sticking with its laws.
Human rights groups say that Saudi women are very restricted in their lifestyle because they have few social and political rights. The restriction from driving make it tough on Saudi women to carry out their daily lives such as giving their children rides to school or going to the grocery store.
In addition, Saudi women must depend on male relatives or simply males (could be anyone male, imagine if you had to ask your own son for permission to travel (which has occurred)) for transportation and other things such as express permission to travel or work.
There have been reports already of women driving cars in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh; in addition no arrests or response from local authorities have been made as of yet.
In the past, women who drove in Saudi Arabia have lost their jobs, been sentenced to prison or faced other punishments such as the confiscation of their passports and other belongings.