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Saudi Women Defy Driving Ban

  • VOA News

File - Saudi Arabian woman drives car as part of campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving, Riyadh.

File - Saudi Arabian woman drives car as part of campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving, Riyadh.

Activists in Saudi Arabia are claiming victory in their protest against a ban on female drivers in the country.

A few dozen women got behind the wheel Saturday in their push for easing restrictions on women in the kingdom.

Activists say protest organizers received 13 videos and about 50 phone messages from women showing or claiming they had driven. There is no way to verify the messages.

One of the videos showed May Al Sawyan, a 32-year-old mother of two and an economic researcher, driving from her home in Riyadh to the grocery store and back.

Though no laws ban women from driving in Saudi Arabia, authorities do not issue them licenses. Women who drove on Saturday had driver's licenses from abroad.

Despite earlier threats of arrest by the police, there were no reports of any arrests. It is not clear if police turned a blind eye to the women or simply did not see the scattered, quick spins around towns.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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