When Manal al Sharif was arrested a couple of weeks ago, there was concern that the “Women2Drive” campaign would fizzle. In exchange for her freedom, al Sharif publicly made a pledge that she would no longer support her protest of Saudi Arabia’s driving ban against women.
Instead, women across Saudi Arabia got behind the wheel today and urged others to do the same. Saudi Arabia’s ban on women drivers is the only such ban in the world and the cause of high expense and daily hardship in the lives of women and families across the country.
In the face of the protests in which some women say they drove for nearly an hour, the authorities mostly held back. According to the AP, the government is caught between ual fears of further uprising in the wake of the Arab Spring, backlash from conservative clerics, and further criticism from the outside world.