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No Woman, No Drive

monica martino

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This is the best pro-women’s rights stuff we’ve seen out of Saudi Arabia, ever. Saudi comedian Hisham Fageeh has posted his excellent No Woman, No Drive video to bring attention to the plight of women in the Middle Eastern country.

Fageeh’s No Woman, No Drive rendition of the Bob Marley classic No Woman, No Cry, is not only sarcastic and sharp, but it is topically relevant as well, knocking the absurd idea that driving could damage a woman’s ovaries.

We’re not quite sure how the Saudi authorities are going to take this one, and hope that Fageeh, for his own sake has some ties to royalty or big oil money. For the third time ever on Saturday, the day this video was released, Saudi Arabian women took to the streets and drove – protesting what they feel is their God-given right. According to media reports, some 60 women took to the streets, and they felt no resistance by the police.

While driving cars isn’t our first choice of transport in the Middle East (we promote buses, trains, cycling and walking), getting the women out to drive is a first step in liberalizing their right to choose. And women, we know, have an immense impact on environment policy and practice.

Hisham Fageeh will definitely be going to Letterman with this one. And we’d love to see more activists from the Middle East poke fun at their own culture, if you dare.

As an aside, reckless driving is very common in Saudi Arabia, where as a past-time youngsters take part in this crazy, scary “sport” of drifting their cars into spectators. Drifting is a sin, but it’s still being done. It’s known locally as hagwalah.

Maybe women there should not only give up driving, but about getting into cars as well: Saudi Arabia has the highest rates of death by car accidents in the world.



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