Plights of Saudi Women: previously Woman killed for chatting on facebook, Rape Victim given 200 lashes
The Middle East is a strange place for Women. Unseen, Unheard their Lives are still like the Middle Ages Where Women were to be seen and not Heard. Googling saudi woman will bring stories of inhumane treatment like these .Just this week a Saudi Woman has been detained for Driving !
A woman in Saudi Arabia was detained after she launched a campaign against the driving ban for women in the Kingdom and posted a video of herself behind the wheel on Facebook and YouTube.
Human rights activist Walid Abou el-Kheir said Manal al-Sherif was detained on Saturday by the country's religious police, who are charged with ensuring the kingdom's rigid interpretation of Islamic teachings are observed.
Al-Sherif was released hours later, according to the campaign's Twitter account. The terms of her release were not immediately clear.
Al-Sherif and a group of other women started a Facebook page called "Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself,'' which urges authorities to lift the driving ban.
She went on a test drive in the eastern city of Khobar and later posted a video of the experience.
"This is a volunteer campaign to help the girls of this country'' learn to drive, al-Sherif says in the video.
"At least for times of emergency, God forbid. What if whoever is driving them gets a heart attack?''
The campaigners have focused on the importance of women driving in times of emergencies and in the case of low-income families.
Al-Sherif said unlike the traditional argument in Saudi Arabia that driving exposes women to sinful temptations by allowing them to mingle with policemen and mechanics, women who drive can avoid sexual harassment from their drivers and protect their "dignity.''
Through Facebook, the campaigners are calling for a mass drive on June 17 and more than 12,000 people viewing the page have indicated they support the call.
On their Facebook page, the group says women joining the campaign should not challenge authorities if they were stopped and questioned, and should abide by the country's strict dress code.
"We want to live as complete citizens, without the humiliation that we are subjected to every day because we are tied to a driver,'' the Facebook message reads.
"We are not here to break the law or demonstrate or challenge the authorities, we are here to claim one of our simplest rights.''
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to ban women, both Saudi and foreign, from driving. The prohibition forces families to hire live-in drivers, and those who cannot afford the $300 to $400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor.
Previously in 2008:
Saudi woman killed for chatting on Facebook
A young Saudi Arabian woman was murdered by her father for chatting on the social network site Facebook, it has emerged.
The unnamed woman from Riyadh was beaten and shot after she was discovered in the middle of an online conversation with a man, the al-Arabiya website reported.
The case was reported on a Saudi Arabian news site as an example of the "strife" the social networking site is causing in the Islamic nation.
Saudi preacher Ali al-Maliki has emerged as the leading critic of Facebook, claiming the network is corrupting the youth of the nation.
"Facebook is a door to lust and young women and men are spending more on their mobile phones and the Internet than they are spending on food," he said.
The woman was murdered in August but her death was highlighted following Maliki's comments.
Social customs and religious rules oblige women in Saudi Arabia to cover their head and figure with a veil so that men are not distracted by the female form.
Critics also allege that Facebook is an avenue for the promotion of homosexual relations in Saudi Arabia. More than 6,500 people have signed the online petition in a bid to stop the conservative Muslim kingdom following Syria in banning access to the network from local internet servers.
There are estimated to be more than 30,000 Facebook users in the oil-rich kingdom. Many Saudi women use nicknames and post comic images or drawings on their pages instead of photographs. Some Saudi bloggers have dubbed the network "Faceless".
Women users' contact details and email addresses are often pseudonymous. The popularity of sites for singles has broken taboos on people making contact outside family and class connections.
One of the most popular Facebook groups among Saudi Arabian youth is Single and Looking in Saudi Arabia, which has 1,823 members and hosts many sexually explicit images.