Friday, June 3, 2011

Saudi Arabia's Women2Drive campaign is up against society

Manal al-Sharif's protest over women's right to drive leaves her open to smears and mud slinging. The issue must be politicised

Nesrine Malik, Friday 3 June 2011

"Manal al-Sharif, the woman who attracted global attention to the Saudi Women2Drive campaign when she posted videos of herself driving on YouTube, was released earlier this week from Dammam prison.

As a condition of her release she signed a pledge that she will not participate in the Women2Drive initiative and has officially withdrawn from the campaign......

The Manal al-Sharif file may be closed, but there are already other videos popping up on YouTube of Saudi women driving, filmed by their fathers and husbands. She has provided a focal point that, hopefully, in the runup to the official launch of the Women2Drive campaign on 17 June, will enable others to realise that strength is in numbers, that momentum must bubble up from the belly of society, and that a full-on political engagement is in order."

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