Founder – Chief Change Optimist – Author – Host – Speaker – TV/Radio Personality – Mentor
Ariane de Bonvoisin - Founder and Chief Change Optimist

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Women Driving for a Change

It came as a surprise to me last night, to find out there are places in the world where women are not allowed to drive. In Saudi Arabia, for example, women are banned from driving in the cities.

This week, one woman—Wajeha Al-Huwaider—took a stand for change. Using Women’s Day, Saturday, March 8th, to start this off, she filmed herself driving and put it up on YouTube. Though the video is in Arabic, quoted Wajeha as saying, “On the occasion of Women’s Day, we appeal to our interior minister, his Highness Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz, to permit us to drive.”

Her message is that driving is not a religious or political issue, but “a social one,” Wajeha says. “We know that many women of our society are capable of driving cars. We also know that many families will allow women to drive.” She is appealing for a basic right that is paralyzing half the population.

So far 125 women have signed the petition asking the interior minister to lift the driving ban. All of these women have driver’s licenses in various other countries, but now live in Saudi Arabia. Her desire is "to bring about tremendous change in the years to come" and that "the time to drive is now.”

I support Wajeha and her quest entirely. As Gandhi said, “You need to be the change you want to see in the world.” And she deserves recognition for actively pursuing change in the world.