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Mary Barra, CEO of GM, boycott the Saudi market until the ban on women driving is lifted.

This petition had 5,637 supporters


In an interview on CNN last October, General Motors CEO Mary Barra was adamant that becoming the first female CEO would not have been possible without GM granting her opportunities throughout her career. In her commencement speech at the University of Michigan, she stated “Remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Never underestimate the effect that you can have on others in actions large and small.”

Ms. Barra, here in Saudi Arabia, the government bans women like us from driving cars -- including those made by you at GM. That is why we are calling on you to stop selling GM cars in Saudia Arabia until this ban has been lifted.

This has significantly impacted many families over the years. In the absence of any form of public transportation, women have had to forgo health care, education and employment for themselves and their children because they cannot afford to recruit a male driver so that they may travel freely outside of the home.

Saudis have been speaking out against the ban on women driving since 1990. They are punished by the government in a variety of ways including lashing, job suspensions, and incarceration. When the call to lift the ban reached its height last year, two women were imprisoned for over 70 days. They are currently being tried for terrorism under a charge called “incitement to public disorder” and are under a travel ban.

The Saudi government has failed to provide any clear explanation for its ban on women driving. Governmental representatives keep repeating that it is a “societal ban;” however, in traditional rural areas Saudi women drive with no objection from their local societies. Within cities, women do not drive for fear of arrest and not for any cultural reason.

The ban on women driving is just one of several ways that the Saudi government implements a gender apartheid system. But if a respected company like GM took a stand, our government would be forced to listen.

Ms. Barra, you can make an immense difference in the lives of millions of Saudi women. Our greatest hope is that GM boycotts the Saudi market until women are allowed to drive GM cars in Saudi Arabia. Actions exactly like this helped to end apartheid in South Africa, and we know that they can do the same here in Saudi Arabia.

Please use your “great power” to open up opportunities in the lives of millions of your fellow women.



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