Social Media Fuels #Women2Drive Campaign

June 29, 2011 | By View Linkedin Profile

Women activists campaigning for their rights in Saudi Arabia isn’t something unheard of. In 1990, several women in Riyadh drove their cars, protesting against the driving ban for women in the conservative kingdom. Almost 17 years later, Wajeha al-Huwaider (Co-founder of the Association for the Protection and Defense of Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia) wrote to King Abdullah asking for women to be allowed to drive on International Women’s Day. Fast-forward to 2011; Women’s rights activist, Manal al-Sharif, uploaded a YouTube video of herself driving a car in the streets of al-Khobar and was jailed for 9 days. All three incidents garnered considerable media attention; yet, Sharif’s campaign not only saw the international audience sit up and take notice, but was also widely covered by the New York Times and other publications in the USA. What triggered this response? Unlike al-Huwaider’s movement, when social media was still in the stages of infancy, the movement in 2011 saw the internet buzz to life, building on the surge of social media. Here are some reasons why Manal-al-Sharif’s campaign received world-wide attention: Social media, which has helped drive protests in the Arab world in recent times, was the perfect platform for Manal Sharif …

Posted in Brand Monitor | SMM

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