Saudi Women for Driving سعوديات يطالبن بالقيادة

35,286 Supporters

    Started 4 petitions

    Victory
    Petitioning King Abdullah

    Saudi Arabia: Don't Whip Shayma Jastaniah for Driving

    This weekend, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah announced that Saudi women will have the right to vote and run in municipal elections beginning in 2015. While activists cautiously praised the reform, the fact that women are still not allowed to drive makes Saudi Arabia one of the most oppressive places in the world for women. It just got even worse. Shayma Jastaniah was found guilty of driving and sentenced to ten lashes as punishment. Shayma, who has an international driver’s license, says she was driving a family member to the hospital. Shayma’s situation - alone at home with a family member who needs medical attention - is far from uncommon. Another Saudi woman, Najalaa al-Harriri, is set to face trial in a month for driving, not out of defiance, but in order to take care of her children and run basic errands. Unable to drive, women are forced to hire drivers - which can be expensive and dangerous - or rely on waiting for male relatives to find the time to drive them around. The ban is not only a daily inconvenience but it has also exposed many women to financial, social and psychological exploitation by their male relatives and drivers. Activists working to lift the driving ban suspect Shayma’s sentence is a reaction by conservative Saudi judges who feel King Abdullah’s suffrage announcement gives too many rights to women. But the justice system has caved to international pressure before. This summer, Manal al Sharif was arrested for driving as part of a nationwide protest of the ban. After Saudi Women for Driving started a petition and the international community expressed outrage, Manal was released from prison without being charged. Demand that the charges against Shayma Jastaniah and Najalaa al-Harriri be dropped immediately. No woman should have to face trial and public lashing for driving.  

    Saudi Women for Driving سعوديات يطالبن بالقيادة
    1,737 supporters
    Victory
    Petitioning James Morris

    Catherine Ashton: Publicly Support Saudi Women's Right to Drive

    Dear High Representative Ashton We are leading Saudi Women’s rights activists and we write this open letter - endorsed by citizens throughout the EU - to express our deep concern over the EU's public silence on the issue of Saudi women's right to drive. Saudi Arabia 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 EU leaders to show their support for Saudi women's rights. We were encouraged to see media reports that EU diplomats have quietly pressured the Saudi government over women's rights issues... But given the recent arrests of women trying to drive, now is the time for the EU 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. High Representative Ashton, 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)  

    Saudi Women for Driving سعوديات يطالبن بالقيادة
    7,108 supporters
    Victory
    Petitioning William Joseph Burns

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

    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)

    Saudi Women for Driving سعوديات يطالبن بالقيادة
    22,953 supporters
    Victory
    Petitioning King Abdullah

    Release Saudi Woman Arrested for Simply Driving a Car

    We the women of Saudi Arabia and our supporters all over the world express our deep concern over the arrest of Saudi citizen Manal al-Sharif on Saturday, May 22, 2011 for driving a car. We call on the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to immediately release Manal Al-Sharif as she was accompanied by her brother and had his consent to drive, recognized in accordance with the Saudi traffic system and contained in Article II, paragraph 34, of Saudi traffic laws. Senior Saudi Islamic scholars have reported that there is no religious reason to prevent women from driving and a ban on women driving cars is not even found in the text of any Saudi legal statute, yet the reality is that women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. This means Saudi Arabia is not in compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimation Against Women which it signed in 2000, and thus must withdraw it’s membership.   King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, declared in 2007 that the issue of women driving cars is a social issue, not a religious matter, and therefore subject to the rule of the state, which means that in theory if the community wanted to lift the ban on women driving there would be no obstacle.   We believe that the time has come to clearly resolve the issue of women driving cars. It is unjust to say it is a social issue and that Islam does not prevent ladies from driving, while simultaneously arresting a woman driving her car. Saudi Arabia is in need of a clear system, either to prevent women from driving, or, in case female driving is allowed, a clear indication that ladies are permitted to drive cars in Saudi Arabia. We all hope for the urgent release of Manal. God bless you.

    Saudi Women for Driving سعوديات يطالبن بالقيادة
    3,488 supporters