We the Women is a campaign for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia. The brainchild of 24 year old Areej (who wishes to withhold her last name), the campaign features an online forum to discuss and debate the issue. Areej was inspired to start the campaign and write her thesis on it after seeing how her retired father spent so much time chauffering the women in her family. “I always felt guilty for few months that he used to drive me around. Driving four girls in one house is hard task. We had drivers quitting after becoming fed up by the amount of places we needed driving to.”
The site includes stickers with speech bubbles available to download, and users are encouraged to write their thoughts on the issue and display them. The campaign’s Facebook page has already garnered over 1,100 fans who actively debate the issue.
As expected, opinions on the site vary. Posted stickers bear messages such as “It is my natural right to move freely and flexibly in my environment,” “Driving shouldn’t even be an issue,” and even “I don’t like the backseat!” In turn, one user argues on the online forum:
“I dont want to generalise, but ALOT [sic] of the younger male population harass the women even when they are being CHAFFEURED [sic]…Now imagine the situation if women DID drive… ??? How much would criminal cases go up exactly?…Women driving in Saudi Arabia is definite NO. We arent ready for it, and the younger generation definately is not ready. And thats more than 50% of the population. Maybe in the next 10-15 years, when more than 50% of the population is much more mature and wise.”
Check out the campaign’s page and add your thoughts to the discussion!
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