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Breaking News English .com, Women2Drive Day In Saudi Arabia (18th June, 2011)

 

Women in Saudi Arabia took part in a protest on Friday against measures that pretty much ban them from driving.

Around thirty female, would-be motorists drove their cars in various cities across the country. Their actions were part of a campaign from the Women2drive Facebook site. Manal al-Sharif, who set up the site, was arrested on May 21 and released the following day. She was rearrested after posting videos of herself on YouTube and spent a week in prison. Authorities said she was “inciting public opinion and harming the country’s reputation.” Another woman was given a traffic ticket in the capital Riyadh on Friday, but there were no arrests. Fewer women than expected decided to protest against their inability to drive.

Friday’s protest was the latest in a string of incidents of Saudi women driving without a licence and then posting videos of themselves online.

Maha al-Qahtani, 39, drove through Riyadh on Friday with her husband in the passenger seat. She said: “This is my basic right. It should not be a big deal. There is nothing wrong or illegal about driving.” Another woman posted a video on YouTube with the message: “All I want is to do my errands or go to work whenever I want.” Many women complain that they spend a quarter of their salary on hiring a driver to take them to and from work. There is no law against female drivers in Saudi, but women cannot get issued with a driving licence to drive in cities.

Classroom handouts, online activities and a listening for this article are at  http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1106/110618-saudi_women_drivers.html



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Women in Saudi Arabia took part in a protest on Friday against measures that pretty much ban them from driving.

Around thirty female, would-be motorists drove their cars in various cities across the country. Their actions were part of a campaign from the Women2drive Facebook site. Manal al-Sharif, who set up the site, was arrested on May 21 and released the following day. She was rearrested after posting videos of herself on YouTube and spent a week in prison. Authorities said she was “inciting public opinion and harming the country’s reputation.” Another woman was given a traffic ticket in the capital Riyadh on Friday, but there were no arrests. Fewer women than expected decided to protest against their inability to drive.

Friday’s protest was the latest in a string of incidents of Saudi women driving without a licence and then posting videos of themselves online.

Maha al-Qahtani, 39, drove through Riyadh on Friday with her husband in the passenger seat. She said: “This is my basic right. It should not be a big deal. There is nothing wrong or illegal about driving.” Another woman posted a video on YouTube with the message: “All I want is to do my errands or go to work whenever I want.” Many women complain that they spend a quarter of their salary on hiring a driver to take them to and from work. There is no law against female drivers in Saudi, but women cannot get issued with a driving licence to drive in cities.

Classroom handouts, online activities and a listening for this article are at  http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1106/110618-saudi_women_drivers.html


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