• Petitioned King Abdullah and Saudi Minister of Justice

This petition was delivered to:

King Abdullah and Saudi Minister of Justice

Don't Whip Saudi Women for Driving

    1. Emilia Gutierrez
    2. Petition by

      Emilia Gutierrez

      Washington, DC

Days ago, 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.

Today, it 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.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Mariana Becerra SAN ANTONIO, TX
      • over 2 years ago

      One of my friends attended schools with Shayma

    • Kenna Stubbs HOUSTON, TX
      • over 2 years ago

      Not only for rights as a woman, but as a human.

    • Jenny Trevino HOUSTON, TX
      • over 2 years ago

      For women everywhere

    • Shelby Jarvis HOUSTON, TX
      • over 2 years ago

      This as an absolute violation of human rights. Drop the charges against Shayma Jastaniah.

    • Stephanie Coleman HOUSTON, TX
      • over 2 years ago

      In support of Shaima and the rights of women around the world!


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