Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



Social Issues
Police In Saudi Arabia Charge Three Women For Driving
August 27, 2013
submit to reddit

Women walking outside the Olaya mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in November, 2012 (Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

In Saudi Arabia, women are banned from getting behind the wheel and driving. In recent months, three women have been stopped and charged for doing just that.

Police stopped three female drivers in Al-Qatif, in eastern Saudi Arabia, fined them 900 Saudi riyals ($240) each, and made them sign a legal document promising that they would not drive again, Thomson Reuters reports.

According to Arabian Business, the incidents have led to "a new crackdown on female drivers," with authorities warning that any woman caught operating a vehicle will face the same punishment.

In one case, a Turkish woman was pulled over while driving with an international driver's license. Saudi officials say they do not recognize licenses issued by other countries.

In another, police charged a 47-year-old woman who had filmed herself driving with her father and brother and uploaded the video to YouTube.

Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi woman who gained international attention after releasing a video of herself driving in Saudi Arabia and starting the Women2Drive campaign, delivered this TED Talk in June about what happened to herself and her family after the video came out:

Technically, it's not illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia. There are no specific traffic laws against female drivers, CNN reports, but religious edicts are often interpreted as forbidding the practice.

Back in 2011, a petition asking King Abdullah to lift the ban on women driving received over 34,000 signatures.

And prominent Saudi activist Princess Ameerah Al Taweel has spoken repeatedly about her support of women lobbying to overturn the ban.



To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.