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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/14/11


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This could be the most peaceful variant of The Arab Spring we have seen to date.


Or it could turn out to be very painful. And very scary.


The big event will take place in Saudi Arabia. There, from June 17 onward, hundreds of women will be -- wait for it -- driving their own cars. No male family members. No professional drivers. Just women. Driving.


To pull this off without ending up in the slammer, the women came up with an idea: "What if we set a date where any woman around Saudi who has a driver's license"can go in public and drive? We are hoping to collect as many supporters as we can, if we succeed of collecting 100s in major cities, and all of them start driving June 17 and forward, it will be so much hectic for authorities and it will force them to look at our issue."


They explained further: "We are not demonstrating or going out in groups. It will be individual act and we asked all brave women who will participate to video tape themselves and post it on our FaceBook page for the rest of the world to see and to prove that we can do it and to encourage those who are afraid to take that step."


A spokesperson for the group -- known as "Women 2 Drive" -- said, "We tried and tried to get our voice heard, but we have been faced with ignorance, it's time we simply take an action until they accept sitting with us on the same table... and listen."


She added, "Saudi women's rights have been overlooked for decades. We were waiting for a miracle to happen and waiting. We finally had enough and decided no more waiting, we will go get it! and the start will be announcing the day we will go ahead and drive our cars in public on June 17 onward."


Women represent 46% of the Saudi population (13,157,907 females out of 28,686,633 the total population of Saudi). "We have over 2 million working women who can't go to work by themselves and depend on a male driver whether family or private driver. We have 750,000 private drivers here," a spokesperson said, adding:

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WILLIAM FISHER Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)
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