As the anniversary of Saudi Arabia's Women2Drive campaign approaches, hundreds of signatures have been gathered on a petition appealing to King Abdullah to lift the ban on women drivers in the Kingdom.
In September 2011 King Abdullah Bin Adbulziz al-Saudi made an historic announcement when he allowed Saudi women the right to vote. Now women are appealing to him to lift the draconian rule that prevents them from driving in the Kingdom.
Alarabiya reported the petition calls on the King to “encourage women who have obtained driving licenses from neighboring countries to begin driving whenever necessary.” The petition also calls for driving schools for women and the issuance of licenses, a vital requirement as women are not actually banned from driving, but banned from driving without a local license, which it is impossible to obtain.
Manal al-Sharif , who led the campaign for women to be allowed to drive, has also written to King Abdullah, urging him to allow women with foreign driving licenses to drive in the Kingdom. (BBC)
Last year's campaign for women to take to the wheel was matched by a retaliatory campaign by Saudi men who launched the June 17 Iqal campaign to prevent women from driving. Men threatened to beat Saudi women who drove with their traditional headdress, the Iqal. They said "We warn women against adopting Western attitudes and concepts and against a large increase in road accidents in case women are allowed to drive cars."