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Middle East

Saudi woman defies driving ban, husband fined

  • The unveiling of a model of the Saudi-made Meeya vehicle, at a ceremony in the capital Riyadh, on April 16, 2014. The production of the Meeya vehicle, in partnership with a Malaysian company, will begin in 2017 at the Sheded Car Factory International company in Dammam, 400km east of Riyadh, with a production capacity of some three hundred thousand cars a year. Each vehicle will be retailed at around45,000 SR or 12,000 US dollars. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE

RIYADH: A Saudi woman defied the kingdom's ban on female driving, getting behind the wheel of her husband's car before police detained the couple and fined the man, a newspaper said Sunday.

The 23-year-old woman was caught driving Thursday in the Qatif district in Eastern Province, the Saudi Gazette said, adding police forced the couple to sign a pledge not to repeat the offense.

They were released on bail and the traffic department fined her 28-year-old husband 900 riyals ($240) and impounded his car seven for days, it said.

The woman also received a penalty for driving without a license, a permit that she cannot apply for in the ultraconservative kingdom because of its ban on female driving.

Women's rights activists make frequent calls to challenge the ban, the only one of its kind in the world.

Some of those who do challenge the ban post videos of themselves driving online. Few have been arrested.

In addition to not being allowed to drive, Saudi women must cover themselves from head to toe and need permission from a male guardian to travel, work and marry.

 
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Summary

Women's rights activists make frequent calls to challenge the ban, the only one of its kind in the world.

In addition to not being allowed to drive, Saudi women must cover themselves from head to toe and need permission from a male guardian to travel, work and marry.


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