Manal Al-Sharif, a woman who take the flag in a campaign for the right to women in Saudi Arabia to drive was arrested and locked in jail after made public a video of herself driving and explaining her reasons to do it been aware that was against of the “fatwa” or religious law. It’s a nonsense that kind of ban to women, she said. What if your husband has a heart attack and you have to bring him to the hospital? To have a driver is very expensive, are you supposed to be all the time at home?, well it seems that’s the answer. Last news said she’s been released but with some conditions: don’t drive any more, don’t go forward with her campaign and so on. She has made too much noise to be “extremely punished” and more than all in the middle of this North Africa-Middle east turmoil, it seems. But she was extremely punished anyway, she didn’t deserve jail by no means. She made a point. She wanted to be heard. And she was, by the whole world, thanks to the hard hand of the police of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

So, that’s the freedom and equality in that Kingdom between men ad women. Not only the clothing: scarfs covering their heads the tunics covering their bodies. Not only the freedom to decide, maybe no right either to choose their husbands; or the freedom to move, no right to something so basic in an urban environment like driving a car. In a point: be always depending on their men.

Manal al-Sharif is another activist for the women rights that has dared to put something in motion and has paid her audacity with imprisonment. Maybe her actions won’t change nothing in a short-term, but as a comment by an admirer in her facebook page says, let’s hope it’s a first drop of a big, needed rain on a very dry ground.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for highlighting this issue! I have trouble sometimes understanding the position of women in Islam. The Saudi Arabian interpretation of Islam is really extreme and I think it’s going to take years for any real change to come in the lives of their women. (that said, HI!!)

  2. Hi, Ify. Nice to know about you. I also think that this is a very difficult situation and particularly in Saudi Arabia. But I always admire women who doesn’t give up. They had made a lot of changes in this world for all of us. I hope they will have their improvements. And I hope this time will come faster than some expect, so they will be able to see them. Who could expect the fall of Berlin’s Wall, or the crash of the communist block in Eastern Europe in the late 80s and early 90s? Who preview this so-called “muslim spring” which I thing is more complicated than that generalized name they gave to this turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East?. The world is changing fast. How will this end? No one can predict I think.

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About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

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Middle East, World and Politics

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