We are leading Saudi Women’s rights activists and we write this open letter to you as a company that has made a name for itself among women drivers and which has built up a progressive brand image.
Subaru sponsors women’s surf festivals, the U.S. Women’s Triathlon Series, “Subaru Women’s Week” packages for skiers and even the Outstanding Woman in Science Award for the Geological Society of America.
But while Subaru is marketed heavily at women, your company is simultaneously making millions selling cars in the only country on earth where women aren't allowed to drive – much less ride a bike or go surf, run a triathlon, or ski on their own.
Subaru takes corporate citizenship seriously. On your web site, Subaru Chairman Yoshio Hasunuma writes, “We are dedicated to support and improve the communities in which we live and work.”
But Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women — both Saudi and foreign — from driving. 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. Our lack of this basic right to drive our own cars creates many safety risks for women on the roads, and relying on strangers as drivers has jeopardized the safety of women and children in many documents cases.
We write to you with a simple request: that Subaru publicly pledge to pull out of Saudi Arabia until such time as women are allowed to drive.
It is our hope that this will put huge pressure on the Saudi royal family and shine a bright light on the "gender apartheid" in our country. It's a chance for your company to live up to your brand, and make a huge difference for nearly 13 million of us Saudi women.
God bless you.
Saudi Women for Driving (سعوديات يطالبن بالقيادة)
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