Many people in my country shunned me afterward. Clergymen called for me to be whipped, stoned, even killed. Within a year, I was forced to leave my job. Then, fearing for my safety, I left the country where I had been born and grew up, and where I had begun to raise a family of my own.
Women before and after me have also been arrested, lost their jobs and been jailed for the simple act of getting behind the wheel of a car.
We protested the ban on driving by women because its effects went far beyond cars and roads. The prohibition meant that we were unable to take our children to school; we could not drive loved ones to a doctor or hospital; we could not commute to a job or go to the grocery store on our own. The ban meant the loss of the most basic form of dignity and control over our lives.
This is why for the women of Saudi Arabia, Sept. 26, 2017, the day the monarchy announced that it plans to overturn the driving ban, will be remembered as our Emancipation Day."
Read article by Manal Al-Sharif from The New York Times.