Saudi Arabian Women Rev Up for Oct 26 Protest on Driving Ban

By @ibtimesau on

Female drivers from Saudi Arabia are revving up to stage a protest on Oct 26 to pressure state government to lift the ban on women driving.

Around the world, women from Saudi Arabia remains the only population barred to drive. Although there is no law in the country explicitly stating such prohibition, state police enforce the decrees issued by the senior and influential clerics of their religion Islam, thus effectively banning the experience for Saudi women.

Saudi Arabian Women Rev Up for Oct 26 Protest on Driving Ban (Youtube/Eman Alnafjan)

On Tuesday, Latifa al-Shaalan, one of three female members of advisory body the Shura Consultative Council, filed a recommendation that the ban on Saudi women drivers be lifted.

"There is no law that bans women from driving. It is only a matter of tradition," Ms Shaalan said.

"We urge the government to recognise the rights of women to drive a car in accordance with the principles of sharia (Islamic law) and traffic rules."

The Shura Consultative Council is similar to the prevailing structures of parliament in most countries. Its members, however, are not elected but appointed by the king.

On Youtube, a video of a Saudi woman, Eman Al Nafjan, who posts under the Twitter handle @Saudiwoman, driving through Riyadh on Thursday went viral. Her fellow citizens seemed to welcome her guts and supported her bravery.

Video Source: Youtube/Eman Alnafjan

With her friend Azza on the wheel, Ms Al Nafjan shared through Twitter their journey on the road.

Then eventually, the Saudi women pair got accosted by the police. They were were taken to a police station but were later released.

Apparently contradicting impressions that it is not safe for its women to drive, according to the country's strict rules, Ms Al Nafjan's post just contradicted that.