Secretary Clinton: Publicly Support Saudi Women's Right to Drive
  • Petitioned Janet Ann Sanderson

This petition was delivered to:

Deputy Assistant Secretary, State Department
Janet Ann Sanderson
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues
Melanne Verveer
Under Secretary for Political Affairs
William Joseph Burns
Senior Advisor, State Department Office of Global Women's Issues
Steven Steiner
Executive Assistant, State Department Office of Global Women's Issues
Valerie Patricia Keitt
Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Michael Hoffman Posner
Public Affairs Advisor, State Department GWI Office
Nicole R Conn
Director, State Department Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs
Andrew Steinfeld
Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
Jeffrey T Feltman
Deputy Director, State Department Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs
Linda Specht
Director, Office of Policy Planning
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Country Officer, State Department Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs
Josh Harris
Principal Deputy Director, Office of Policy Planning
Derek Chollet
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
Philippe I. Reines
Deputy Director, Office of Policy Planning
Edward Lacey
Director, Office of Press Relations
Mark C. Toner
Chief of Staff, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Cheryl Mills
Chief of Staff, Office of Policy Planning
Janey Wright
Deputy Director, Office of Press Relations
Julie Reside
Senior Advisor on Development, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Steve Radelet
Chief Speechwriter and Policy Advisor, Office of Policy Planning
Josh Daniel
Press Officer, Department of State
Andrew J Laine
Personal Assistant, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Claire Coleman
Deputy Director, State Department Office of Human Rights
Cari Enav
International Officer, State Department Office of Human Rights
Dara Duncan-Lira
White House Liason, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Steven Diminuco
Near East Specialist and Senior Policy Advisor, State Department GWI Office
Diane E. Kelly
Womens Affairs Officer, State Department Office of Human Rights
Linda Lum
Deputy Secretary of State
James Braidy Steinberg
Test

Secretary Clinton: Publicly Support Saudi Women's Right to Drive

    1. Petition by

      Saudi Women for Driving سعوديات يطالبن بالقيادة

  1.  
  2.   
June 2011

Victory

The "Saudi Women for Driving" Coalition petitions U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to support women's driving rights. 22,000 people join after Clinton declines public support, gaining media attention. In the light of media coverage, Clinton reverses her stance and becomes highest-ranking official to publicly support women driving.

Dear Secretary Clinton

We are leading Saudi Women’s rights activists and we write this open letter - endorsed by thousands of United States citizens - to express our deep concern over the US government's public silence on the issue of Saudi women's right to drive.

Saudi Arabia, one of the strongest and longest standing US allies in the Middle East, is also the only country on earth where women are not allowed to drive, or even ride a bicycle, often dubbed ‘the world's largest women's prison’. As Saudi women our lack of freedom of movement places an extreme burden on our lives. We lack a public transportation system and the most basic errands and medical appointments are missed due to the difficulty and expenses of arranging transportation, notwithstanding educational and work opportunities. Many from our religious establishment openly state that the reason they prohibit women from driving is to keep women at home and in need of men. Our lack of this basic right to drive our own cars has been repeatedly exploited by abusive fathers, brothers, husbands and even hired drivers. Just this week a Saudi woman reported she was raped by her driver.

On May 22, 2011, a Saudi technology consultant and mother named Manal al-Sharif was arrested for driving her own car. Unable to find a safe and reliable driver, she was fed up and decided to take a stand not just for herself but for Saudi women across this country. Over the past few days, more than 50,000 people from 156 countries around the world have joined our campaigns calling for Manal to be released and acquitted of all charges. Manal's activism has also led to copycat incidents, with women all over the country posting videos of themselves driving. As momentum grows, we are calling for women across Saudi Arabia to begin driving openly and en masse on June 17. In the context of the Arab Spring and US commitments to support nonviolent movements for democracy, now is the time for US leaders to show their support for Saudi women's rights.

We were encouraged to see media reports that US diplomats have quietly pressured the Saudi government to give women the right to drive... But given the recent arrests of women trying to drive, now is the time for the US to show its muscle and make that pressure public.

We write to ask that you make a public statement supporting Saudi women's right to drive. We do not make this request lightly, but we believe that you making a public statement of support for Saudi Arabia opening the country's roads to women would be a game changing moment.

Secretary Clinton, you are a friend. Indeed, some of us have met you personally during your decades-long journey as a champion of women’s rights all over the world.  Now, as we build the largest Saudi women's protest movement in decades, we need your help.

God bless you.

Saudi Women for Driving (سعوديات يطالبن بالقيادة)

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Victory! Sec. Clinton Publicly Supports Saudi Women's Right to Drive

      Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Top U.S. diplomat responds to Saudi women’s campaigns on Change.org asking her to publicly declare support for Saudi women’s right to drive.
      U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly declared her support for Saudi women’s right to drive...

    2. Victory! Hillary Clinton praises Saudi Women’s right to drive campaigns

      Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday publicly threw her support behind a campaign by Saudi women to lift a ban on female driving in the conservative oil-rich kingdom... more details soon!

    3. Saudi Women to Hillary Clinton: Enough with “Quiet Diplomacy”

      Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Saudi Women for Driving, a coalition of leading Saudi women’s rights activists, bloggers and academics campaigning for the right to drive, sent the following response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.
      Dear Secretary Clinton,
      We...

    4. Clinton Opts for 'Quiet Diplomacy' on Saudi Women Driving Standoff

      Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Spokesperson: "I think she is making a judgment on how best to support universal human rights for women. There are times when it makes sense to do so publicly and there are times for quiet diplomacy."

    5. Saudi Women to Hillary Clinton: “Where are you?”

      Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Saudi Women for Driving, a coalition of leading Saudi women’s rights activists, bloggers and academics campaigning for the right to drive, sent the following letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday. A similar letter was sent to...

    6. AP: Activists ask Clinton to help Saudi women drivers

      Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Press all over the world is covering the push to get Clinton to make a public statement.

    7. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Six members of Congress have written an open letter publicly declaring solidarity with Manal Al-Sharif, the Saudi mother arrested a month ago for driving her own car

    8. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has publicly expressed her support for "Honk for Saudi Women", an initiative founded in support of the Saudi Women for Driving campaigns on

    9. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      At least 45 women drove today, making June 17 the largest women's rights protest in Saudi history... and it's only the beginning

    10. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Prince Khalid bin Alwaleed is supporting women's driving

    11. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      20 ago today South Africa abolished the last of its apartheid laws... Saudi Arabia is often referred to as a gender apartheid #Women2Drive

    12. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Activists have set up a "Virtual Driving School" named after Manal Al-Sharif

    13. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Many more women have said they will be driving sometime around 4pm Saudi time... Stay tuned #Women2Saudi

    14. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      A Saudi journalist told us that he saw 5 or 6 women drive past the police in the capital Riyadh. They did nothing!

    15. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Today's first video of a Saudi woman driving (actually filmed late last night)

    16. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      A famous female race car driver joins Honk for Saudi Women

    17. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Some Saudi Men are considering going out for a drive while wearing women's Abayas to confuse the police

    18. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Great news! An hour ago a woman in the Saudi capital Riyadh successfully drove her car! No police harassment! First pic here:

    19. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Washington Post: Saudi Arabian women to drive Friday despite ban

    20. Reached 20 signatures
    21. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      Are Saudi Women Next?

    22. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      NYTimes: The Arab Spring is inching its way into Saudi Arabia — in the cars of fully veiled drivers

    23. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      TIME Magazine: Honk If You Support Saudi Women!

    24. Reached 17 signatures
    25. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President of Communications

      6 women were caught driving in the Saudi capital Riyadh yesterday - the largest such protest in more than 20 years

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Agnes Mina POINTE-CLAIRE, CANADA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Truth is, Saudi men fear women as a group the same way Spartans feared a Helot uprising or they would not feel the need for artificially creating a demand for themselves in the life of their women. Cruelty is a coward's weapon and only cowards are actively afraid of disproved myths of fear mongers. Insulted? Then prove you are not a craven by voting pro women's right to drive on your referendum ;)

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • anke van veen AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
      • almost 3 years ago

      After trying 5 years myself, I think that everyone with more talent then me should drive. Also : women make less accidents as sience shows!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Alan Lockhart NEWMARKET, SUFFOLK, UNITED KINGDOM
      • almost 3 years ago

      Secretary Clinton - You can drive the change ..!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Crisanne Pahlow BOLINGBROOK, IL
      • almost 3 years ago

      Dont be afraid to make a stand on behalf of women in need Mrs. Clinton! I know its hard to be a female in a male dominated field, but you can handle it, you are strong! Im proud of your accomplishments, and I hope that you will make your voice heard around the world. These women need a strong female in their corner, look at how they are treated! Like the suffrogetes from America, they are making their stand now! Please do the right thing, who cares who is against it!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Vandana Sood BOZEMAN, MT
      • almost 3 years ago

      Best,

      Vandana

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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