Amazing! Last week, a group of Saudi women activists started a Change.org petition calling on Saudi authorities to drop charges against Manal al-Sharif, a woman arrested for driving her own car. Days later, the charges were dropped!
Then, they launched a second petition calling on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to speak out publicly for Saudi women's right to drive. Clinton initially resisted, but after 20,000 Change.org members joined the call, she declared, "What these women are doing is brave, and what they are seeking is right," at a major press conference.
Subaru markets heavily to women, especially in the U.S. and Europe -- and has built up a progressive brand for itself. Yet the company still sells cars in Saudi Arabia, the only country on earth where women are prohibited from driving or even riding a bike.
(The ban is a huge impediment for women who are forbidden to drive to work, stores, or even a hospital. Many women can't afford male drivers, and those that can are often harassed by them.)
The activists at Saudi Women for Driving tell us, "Manal was released, Mrs. Clinton spoke out, and some brave women have started driving in defiance of the ban. This is already the largest women's rights movement in Saudi history and no one here knows what will happen next, but a big company like Subaru pulling out could help change our country forever. Help us do it!"
It's simple: A massive campaign to push Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia -- and the threat that they might leave -- will put huge pressure on the Saudi royal family and shine a bright light on the "gender apartheid" in the country. It's a chance for the company to live up to its brand and make a huge difference for nearly 13 million women.
Change.org members have already won more than 200 campaigns in 2011. Let's win this one, too.
Click here to stand with Saudi women and ask Subaru to pull out of Saudi Arabia until women win the right to drive: