Life under Sharia alert from Saudi Arabia. From AFP, with thanks to Kemaste:
RIYADH : Fourteen years ago on Saturday, 47 Saudi women defied a strict ban on driving in the ultra-conservative kingdom by roaming the capital behind the wheel.
The daring drivers were swiftly rounded up by police and punished, but many remain unrepentant to this day.
“I am ready to take part in a demonstration right now,” one former participant told AFP.
Women are still not allowed to drive in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, despite the absence of any specific law banning them from the driver’s seat.
“I still believe in the idea. It is a right that I will continue to demand,” the protester added, requesting anonymity.
Dr Aisha al-Manea, a driving force behind the protest, also said she “would support every group of women that works to achieve this aim”.
Manea says she hates driving but took part as “a matter of principle”.
Participants in the 1990 protest were severely punished for daring to turn the ignition key.
Those who had jobs in the public sector were fired by a royal decree.
It took them another two years and a half to be reinstated by another royal decree, said a protestor, also requesting anonymity.
As men are considered responsible for female family members, husbands of protestors were also barred from driving for six months, she said.
“We were not paid salaries for a whole year, while contributions to our pension funds were deducted for two-and-a-half years.”