Saudi Women Are Protesting Their Lack of Rights by Simply Driving

Despite threats from government officials, more than 60 women drove cars in Saudi Arabia today in protest of a law that denies them the right to have a license.

Al Jazeera is reporting that the protest organizers received more than 13 videos of women driving, and a number of phone messages telling them that women had operated a car. Female driving is not outlawed in the conservative kingdom, but women are not allowed to have licenses and must be driven around by male relatives or hired drivers.

This is the third driving protest since 1990, the BBC reports. Since then, female drivers have been arrested or lost their jobs. This year's protest follows claims by a cleric that driving affects a woman's ovaries.

"If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards," Sheikh Lohaidan told reporters in September, referring to nonexistent medical studies.

So far no protesters have been arrested, but an organizer reported that she was tailed by "two suspicious cars." While the original protest focused only on driving today, organizers are now calling on Saudi women to continue driving in violation of the law whenever they feel like it.