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A small number of Saudi Arabian women have defied the kingdom’s driving ban on Saturday, despite warnings from the government and ultraconservatives.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are prohibited from driving. Although there is no actual law supporting the ban, the government still refuses to issue licenses to women.
As part of a newly revived campaign, Saudi activists used social media to encourage women to take to the streets on Saturday. However, threats from the Interior Ministry convinced many women to stay at home, reported AFP.
Several women posted videos on YouTube of themselves driving on Saturday. One of the videos showed May al-Sawyan successfully driving to a grocery store in the kingdom’s capital without being stopped by security forces.
"I am very happy and proud that there was no reaction against me," al-Sawayan said, according to The Guardian. "There were some cars that drove by. They were surprised, but it was just a glance. It is fine. They are not used to seeing women driving here."
The campaign for women driving has lasted for over two decades. Other protests in 1990 and 2011 were thwarted by police, who stopped and often arrested women drivers, according to the Wall Street Journal.