Saudi Arabia: only country to ban women from driving

Published / Updated on

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On October 26, there was a day of mobilization in favor of the right to drive Saudi women. Let's take a closer look at the actions of this campaign.

Saudi Arabia, a conservative Islamic kingdom, is the only country in the world to ban women from driving. In order to denounce this situation, a group of Saudi activists demanding the right to drive launched an awareness campaign. On October 26, they invited the women of Saudi Arabia to get behind the wheel: “Saudi professor and activist Aziza Youssef said on Saturday that her group had received 13 videos and around 50 text messages from women claiming to have driven. . "
Source: The duty
“Some 16 women were nevertheless arrested at the wheel on Saturday by the police. They had to pay fines, and each woman and her guardian (father, brother, husband or any other man in the family) had to sign a pledge to respect the rules in force in the kingdom. "
Source: Press
The Saudi Women's Cause even prompted a comedian from Saudi Arabia to do a cover-up of Bob Marley titled No Woman, No Drive. “In his parody, Hisham Fageeh makes fun of the rule and the recent declarations of a Saudi imam assuring that the conduct damaged the ovaries and caused“ clinical disturbances ”in unborn children. "
Source: Press
The following activities will help to better understand the cause of Saudi women.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Read and analyze press articles regarding the driving ban for Saudi women;
- Watch a report on the day of mobilization for the right to drive of Saudi women and answer questions about it;
- Listen to the song No woman No Cry of Bob Marley and understand its meaning;
- Watch the parody No Woman, No Drive who supports the cause of Saudi women and criticize it;
- Carry out research on women's rights in the Middle East.

Suggested activities

ACTIVITY 1: Analyze the news to better understand it

First, ask the students if they know what the women in Saudi Arabia have been asking for for some time. Let them know that they will be reading newspaper articles dealing with the ban on driving Saudi women.
The articles to read are as follows. (If you want, you can search for more.)
Article 1
Saudi women defy the law and take the wheel

Released on Radio-Canada, October 26, 2013.
Article 2
Saudi Arabia: women avoid confrontation for the right to drive
Published in La Presse, October 26, 2013.
Article 3
Over 4 million views for No woman, No Drive

Published in La Presse, October 28, 2013.
For each article, ask students to say what it mainly talks about. For example, they can summarize them in a short paragraph or register for an oral summary. Also, is one of the articles really different from the others? In what?
Finally, as a whole class, watch the video Rolling towards emancipation from Radio-Canada. Then complete the following sheets with the students.

Click on images to enlarge.
Download the source file in ActivInspire format (.flipchart)
Download the file in SMART Notebook (.notebook) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)


ACTIVITY 2: A parody to support Saudi women

Before starting the activity, ask the students if they know the song No woman No Cry by Bob Marley.
Take a few minutes to have them listen to the original version. You can easily find it on Youtube. What do the students think this song is about?
Now watch the parody made by Hisham Fageeh. This is the viral video No Woman, No Drive. Have students find the number of times this video has been viewed on YouTube.
Next, students have to review the parody of Hisham Fageeh. They can write a text or record themselves orally.
Finally, ask the volunteer students to share their criticism and end by discussing as a whole class this initiative of the Saudi artist.

For further

Have students research women's rights in the Middle East.
First, locate Saudi Arabia on a world map. Also, identify other countries in the Middle East. As a team, students should choose one of these countries and research the status of women in that country. They can use a variety of information sources such as books, encyclopedias and the Internet.
Invite students to share their findings in any way they want. They can, for example, create a presentation using PowerPoint, Prezi, or a tebeware such as ActivInspire or Notebook. If they prefer, they can design a brochure or poster.
Finally, share the students' creations in the classroom, in the school and why not on the school website!

More about the magazine

The rights of Saudi women violated including in the royal family
Article published on Le
Women's rights in the Middle East
Amnesty International
Hisham Fageeh
Wikipedia article

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