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Saudi women drivers get Clinton's backing [video]

US and EU officials support women fighting for the right to drive in Saudi Arabia

Human rights activists in Saudi Arabia are calling on Japanese automaker Subaru to halt automotive sales in that country until their law banning female drivers is stricken from the books. Saudi Women for Driving defied the law and organized willing females drivers in the Middle East country on June 17.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week that she was in support of the group, saying that she was "moved" by the protest, "and I support them." The group also has the backing of the European Union, with their High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, saying, "The Saudi women who are taking to the road are exercising their right to demand that equality."

“The EU supports people who stand up for their right to equal treatment, wherever they are.”

Despite the high-level show of support, and the high profile activities of the group, a Subaru spokesman told Bloomberg that the automaker and its parent has not "received any information of any campaigns." From Tokyo, spokesman Kenta Matsumoto told the news outlet, "We only have dealers in Saudi Arabia, and no factories. Our annual sales in the country are limited to only 300 to 400 units."

Saudi Women for Driving says that the number of units sold in the region is not nearly as relevant as the unequal treatment of women. "It is our hope that this will put huge pressure on the Saudi royal family and shine a bright light on the ‘gender apartheid’ in our country," said the organization in a statement.

"It’s a chance for the company to live up to its brand and make a huge difference for nearly 13 million of us Saudi women."

Source: Bloomberg

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Comments (24)

bleed
This is non off you all business , We love Saudi Government and we respect it but when it comes to this issue it is not the government who banned womens from driving it was made by the people of the country the reason for that you all wont be able to understand so please dont post such a stupid article like that and keep your selfs busy with cars business bloomber Should be banned from this web site he is trying to make Incitement against the government
Jul 3, 2011 1:02 am
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GRAVE
If it's their policy people have to abey the rules, US must stay away from it.
Jun 30, 2011 2:08 pm
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Hellbound
US can remove all of their strategic military installations in the region...and also start paying a fair price for oil. Stay away my eye, they've never stayed away and are always behind the scenes.
Jun 30, 2011 5:56 pm
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sideskraper
This article is only sensitive to the people perpetrating the issue or people who turn a blind eye to the issue.
Jun 30, 2011 12:32 pm
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muhaidib
Interesting how people are demonstrating for Subaru to halt shipments to Saudi, as if this will hurt us... I haven't seen a single Subaru in Riyadh! I support women driving, so does the government, it's just the people who are not used to it in Saudi will not accept this right away... Anyways, WCF should stay on cars, not political stuff
Jun 30, 2011 9:01 am
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Microice
That's easy Brian. It has more to do with human rights and politics and can easily spill into other social and cultural issues.
Jun 30, 2011 5:47 am
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Hellbound
Bingo. Shortsighted by WCF. Never underestimate the stupidity of people online, as highlighted by my comment above^
Jun 30, 2011 10:27 am
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BrianWCF
ALL HUMAN BEINGS DESERVE TO DRIVE!!!!! For those who question why we covered this story, I ask you, why shouldn't we?
Jun 30, 2011 4:48 am
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Hellbound
[Redneck mode ON]; All human beings? What about rapists, pedo's a murderers!? I can't believe you're in support of child rapists!! This is disgusting! /OFF.
Jun 30, 2011 10:29 am
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ADCAR
WCF... WTF?
Jun 30, 2011 3:07 am
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9TNine
+1 WCF... WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1?
Jun 30, 2011 3:56 am
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Hellbound
World WTF Fans....!
Jun 30, 2011 4:40 am
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msinisa
it's nothing new, USA in the 1980es supported Al Qaida in Afganistan, in the 1990es in Bosnia, and in 20011 Libyan Al Qaida is supported by USA. It's all about the oil, control over resources, or building up a military bases. Soon to come support to Al Qaida in Syria, Iran, etc.
Jun 30, 2011 2:57 am
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GHERNAS
WCF it`s Automotive web only !!!
Jun 29, 2011 8:05 pm
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Microice
Shouldn't WCF steer clear of such 'sensitive' articles...?
Jun 29, 2011 5:10 pm
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9TNine
+1
Jun 30, 2011 3:56 am
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RobERob
It's sinful, even criminal, how we've continued to support this country, turning a blinds eye to all the social injustices they've committed over the years, and treat them as if they're our allies with a most favorable nation status (politically/economically at least). They have much bigger problems there than just women not having the right to drive.
Jun 29, 2011 5:07 pm
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DeleteThisAccount
Our world is governed by money. Ideals have nothing to do with it. The US doesn't support SA on a like/dislike basis, in fact, you've got it wrong, SA supports the US with external funding. Either way, it's just business and you need their money.
Jun 29, 2011 6:03 pm
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RobERob
It's a little more complicated than that, but this isn't the time or place for this discussion. However, oil has become new currency in this petroleum based economy and the US will do anything to protect her interest. As long as the Saudi government cooperates with US economic policy (unlike Saddam sealing his fate by switching to the Euro) and remains the tame dog on the leash, so to speak, they'll continue on with the status quo. So in a sense, you can say that we had a part in creating this monster.
Jun 29, 2011 8:26 pm
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Hellbound
Last thing the 'west' wants is a fair democracy in SA. Why? Any fair democracy will vote in whichever party promises to sell oil at a higher price, meaning more money for the government to spend on the electorate. That would be a disaster for the 'west'. Strangely, if all the worlds oil were to be found in the 'west', it would be sold at a much higher price than it is now. FACT: IF - ARAB SPRING = more DEMOCRACIES, then the price of a barrel of oil will increase.
Jun 30, 2011 4:46 am
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sideskraper
Errr democracy = higher oil prices? WTF? I've read some idiotic comments on this site but this might just take the cake.
Jun 30, 2011 12:36 pm
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Hellbound
Yes sideskraper....a fair democracy in, lets say Bahrain, would mean less influence over their oil infrastructure from the US. It's almost as if you don't understand the level of influence the US has over the middle east in respect to oil.
Jul 1, 2011 8:56 am
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DJH1971
Good on you Clinton! Without wishing to sound racist, it's about time Saudi Arabia got out of the stone age and into the real world.
Jun 29, 2011 5:06 pm
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PAA
I'm just joking but 9 of 10 western women don't know how to drive anyway. They are just obstacles you have to avoid in the street.
Jun 30, 2011 12:24 am
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