Wajeha Al-Huwaider

Go, Wajeha Al-Huwaider.

A group called the League of Demanders of Women’s Right to Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia will present a petition to King Abdullah this week, asking him to “return that which has been stolen from women: the right to free movement through the use of cars, which are the means of transportation today.”…Heading the new group pressing to overturn the ban is Wajeha Al-Huwaider, an American-schooled education analyst…Last month, she held a one-woman demonstration with a placard demanding, “Give Women Their Rights!” She was arrested, detained for seven hours and freed only after a male “guardian” signed for her. Banned by the Saudi Interior Ministry from writing in the Saudi press, she writes online. The authorities have threatened to take away her job if she continues.

That’s ‘moderate’ Saudi Arabia.

The ban on driving is part of a wide sweep of restrictions on the role of women, which are enforced by the country’s religious police, the Muttawa, a common sight on Saudi streets. Strict segregation of the sexes is used to deny equal educational opportunities for women, and women are allowed to work only in certain vocations. Freedom of movement is severely restricted. Women require a mehram – a male guardian’s permission – to travel, rent an apartment or attend college.

In short, women are considered to be rebellious garbage, and treated accordingly.

Wajeha Al-Huwaider is not impressed. She attacks discriminatory laws which “classify women as having less sense, detract from their importance, cast doubts about their abilities, let them be beaten and divorced, let them be imprisoned within four walls, allow them to be treated as their husbands see fit, let them be bought and sold by legal agreement, and, when the women fail and violate religious law they welcome their barbaric killing.”

Apart from all that, things are pretty good.

5 Responses to “Wajeha Al-Huwaider”