Freedom House Shows Solidarity with Saudi #Women2Drive Campaign | Freedom House

Freedom House Shows Solidarity with Saudi #Women2Drive Campaign

Freedom House expresses its support for the “#Women2Drive” campaign ongoing in Saudi Arabia in furthering women’s rights.  The campaign has encouraged women with international drivers’ licenses to drive personal vehicles in the Kingdom on October 26 to protest the longstanding ban on women’s driving.  The prohibition stems from a customary ban that was later converted into a formal decree issued by the Ministry of Interior in 1990 following the Grand Mufti’s fatwa against women’s driving. The ban is in clear violation of human rights principles, including the United Nations Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which Saudi Arabia has signed.

Previous attempts to reverse the ban have not met with success: women faced losing their jobs, travel bans, and even whippings.  However, in recent months women have been driving and posting online videos of themselves doing so—without a single arrest.  Although the Ministry of Interior warned that it would enforce the prohibition with “firmness and force” on October 26, Freedom House urges the Ministry to respect women’s right to the freedom of movement.  In addition, Freedom House calls on the government of Saudi Arabia to end the outdated and discriminatory prohibition on women’s driving.

Learn more:

Freedom in the World 2013: Saudi Arabia

Freedom of the Press 2013: Saudi Arabia

Freedom on the Net 2013: Saudi Arabia

Blog: Freedom at Issue