A hilarious Saudi video created by Hisham Fakih -a Saudi artist and social activist- mocking the Kingdom’s ban on women driving has made it to Skynews and quicky gone viral on YouTube receiving over 7.7 million hits so far. It’s reported that the video got its first million views in 24 hours.
Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are not allowed to drive. On Saturday Oct 26, 2013 Saudi women took a stand against the ban and decided to rise up and slide into the driver’s seat.
Seen by the majority of people as a fundamental human right, the Interior Ministry warned against all acts that “disturb the social peace and open the door to discord.” Further statements threatened punishment for anyone involved in “assemblies and banned demonstrations calling for women to drive cars.”
Some social activists voiced their concerns over women driving in the kingdom, arguing that the society is not quite ready for such step and that other social reforms should be applied before. In an interview to New York Times, Ms. Ajroush said she aborted her attempt to drive when she and a friend found themselves followed by two men. They sought refuge in a mall, but the men followed them. She bought a yellow toy car and presented it to the men as a gift, but they stormed off angrily, she said.
Saudi Gazette reported number of social harassment cases against women and juveniles in Saudi Arabia has reached 2,797 in one year, a newspaper stated recently, quoting official statistics. A total of 1,669 cases, or 59.9 percent of the total, involved Saudi nationals while there were 1,128 harassment cases involving non-Saudis of various nationalities, Saudi Gazette reported, citing Arabic newspaper Asharq.
Women DO have a fundamental right to drive, but who will protect them against road harassment?