Shalom Life | April 20, 2014

Saudi Women Say No to Subaru

Without the right to legally drive in Saudi Arabia, women petition Subaru to pull out of the country.

By: Nelly Lalany

Published: June 29th, 2011 in News » World

Saudi Women Say No to Subaru
Subaru is being asked to pull out Saudi Arabia by the coalition of Saudi Women for Driving on Change.org. They believe the car manufacturer should stop selling vehicles until women in their country are legally allowed to drive. The kingdom’s ban on female drivers has been receiving significant media attention having first taking form on social media websites.

So far, the petition is receiving attention with 15,000 signatures to date but whether or not this will result in a change for women’s rights is questionable. The petition actually addresses Subaru, as a company that “loves selling cars to women and has built up a progressive brand for itself.”

The document points out that Subaru sponsors women’s surf festivals, the U.S. Women’s Triathalon Series and the Outstanding Woman in Science Award for the Geological Society of America -- notably all in the United States. The women of Saudi believe that the company’s presence there is contradictory. The fierce human rights activists want Subaru to pull out until women have the right to drive.

Subaru’s director of corporate communications in America, Michael McHale tell Mashable, “We’re pleased to be recognized as progressive by the coalition and we are looking into the issue.” He states that Subaru is going to monitor the situation as it continues to develop.

Even though Saudi Arabia has no official laws banning women from driving, it is a religious barrier, which robs them of the simple rights we take for granted. The movement is going viral as most do when social media is the catalyst.

The digital revolution is stirring change and giving people a voice.

The Women2Drive campaign called on women licenses from other countries or international ones to drive on June 17th as a testament to their cause. They managed to recruit 45 female drivers who tweeted, facebooked, shared pictures and videos capturing the soon-to-be historical event.

The women are hopeful that the push for this cause will result in their rights to drive, and from the looks of it- these dreams could become a reality very soon.

As for Subaru, they are still “monitoring the situation.”

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