Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Today's Action Alert

You may have read the good news that Saudi women will be allowed to vote in 2015. This is great.

However, Saudi women are still not allowed to drive. If they try, they may be sentenced to ten lashes:
It just got even worse. Shayma Jastaniah was found guilty of driving and sentenced to ten lashes as punishment. Shayma, who has an international driver’s license, says she was driving a family member to the hospital.

Shayma’s situation - alone at home with a family member who needs medical attention - is far from uncommon. Another Saudi woman, Najalaa al-Harriri, is set to face trial in a month for driving, not out of defiance, but in order to take care of her children and run basic errands. Unable to drive, women are forced to hire drivers - which can be expensive and dangerous - or rely on waiting for male relatives to find the time to drive them around. The ban is not only a daily inconvenience but it has also exposed many women to financial, social and psychological exploitation by their male relatives and drivers.
You can sign a petition which demands that the charges against these two women be dropped here.