Sarah Attar made history this morning when she ran in the 800 meter race for Saudi Arabia. It took extraordinary international pressure, but Saudi Arabia finally sent two women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time.
Yes — Saudi women can now go for the gold. But they are still denied basic rights like driving a car, enrolling into university, or boarding a flight out of the country without approval from a male guardian.
Amnesty International is focusing our attention on supporting the Saudi women who are working to remove the barriers to women driving in Saudi Arabia — an important first step in the ongoing fight to end the severe discrimination and harsh restrictions the Kingdom places on women.
As Saudi Arabia receives worldwide attention for sending women athletes to the Olympics, Amnesty is mobilizing our global movement to support Saudi women’s groups like Women2Drive that are pressuring King Abdullah to lift the ban on women driving.
We can win this fight. Signs, like King Abdullah’s promise to allow women to vote in the 2015 election, are growing proof that Saudi women activists are changing the tides.
With your support we can leverage this important moment on the world stage. If Saudi Arabia’s leaders truly want to “go for gold” this summer, they should allow women to drive and lift all restrictions on their rights and freedoms.
Cristina M. Finch
Policy and Advocacy Director, Women’s Human Rights
Amnesty International USA