Women in Saudi Arabia planned to drive on Saturday without worrying about the usual social and legal repercussions that hold them back from getting behind the wheel. Thankfully, luckily, the protests went off without a hitch.
Between 40 women and 60 women got behind the wheel of a car in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, according to two separate reports, as an act of defiance against the religious leaders who refuse to grant them a license. Women who participated in the protest uploaded videos to the Internet of them driving, avoiding the authorities and breaking the (unofficially official) law. The protests were organized by Women2Drive, a campaign started in 2011. "I know of several women who drove earlier today. We will post videos (online) later," an organizer told Reuters.
Reuters reports police put up extra checkpoints around Riyadh, the country's capital, and stepped up traffic patrols, too. But despite all of the extra security, Al Jazeera reports none of the women were arrested Saturday. The women were allowed to protest in peace. (Which is, coincidentally, also against the law.)
There's no law against women driving, but the country's religious leaders refuse to grant licenses to women. Earlier this year, a high-ranking cleric named Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan said driving hurts women... down there. "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," he said.
There were no reported upticks in ovary-related medical cases coinciding with the protests.