In 1990, a group of women in Saudi Arabia did something almost completely unheard of. They got behind the wheels of their cars and they drove. Afterward, they were severely punished, and both the women and the movement fell quiet. However, last month, a single mother named Manal Al-Shafif picked up the torch. Angry and frustrated, she uploaded footage of herself driving. As with the women before her, she was severely punished. This time, however, the movement did not fall quiet.
Beginning today, women’s rights groups are calling on Saudi women with international driver's licenses to follow Manal’s lead—to drive to their jobs, their doctors appointments, and anywhere else they need to go. Eman Al Nafjan is one of the proponents of the women’s driving movement in Saudi Arabia and has written about it extensively on her Saudiwoman’s Weblog. She joins us from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.