By FOX News Radio’s Emily Wither, who interviewed three women in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, who are campaigning for the right to drive.
LISTEN to the interview:
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women aren’t allowed to get behind the wheel. In the ultra-conservative Kingdom they also need permission from a male relative or husband if they want to travel, get married or go to college.
When President Obama visited Saudi Arabia last week, human rights groups were calling on him to take a stand and use a female Secret Service agent as his driver. It was always going to be unlikely. The President was traveling to the Kingdom to repair strained relations and officials say he didn’t raise human rights issues during his meeting with King Abdullah.
But a small group of brave women hopped in cars during his visit and despite facing arrest, they’ve vowed to keep driving.
There isn’t a written law that bars women from driving, but they’re not able to get licenses and the Interior Ministry have warned any violators will be dealt with firmly.
Women have been breaking the ban since the 1990’s. Back then, around 50 women were jailed for a day, lost their jobs and had their passports confiscated. But in the last six months the campaign has picked up again as women in Saudi Arabia continue to fight for the right to drive.
Follow FOX News Radio’s Emily Wither on Twitter: @ewither