Womens' Cycling in Saudi Arabia

Yesterday I came across an article that really resonated with me.

"Saudi Arabian women are readying themselves for a national day of protest on October 26 against laws that prohibit them from riding bikes."

I can't possibly imagine what it must be like being denied something as simple as riding a bicycle.  I suppose in the grand scheme of things and all of the oppression that women suffer in Saudi Arabia that it's a small thing, but to not be ever to experience that joy...that's just sad.  And then the trailer posted for a related film made me even sadder.

Wadjda Official Trailer from Razor Film on Vimeo.

Seeing that little girl just wanting to ride with her friend really hit me hard, and though women are legally allowed to ride bicycles, the restrictions are utterly ridiculous.  Also, that law was only passed quite recently - I imagine that during filming (this is the first film filmed in Saudi Arabia, by the way) that the law was not yet in effect.   

Many women have already started to try to change things by protesting - such as driving, at the risk of being arrested.  My hope is that the protests on Saturday will be peaceful and result in change rather than arrests, but it remains to be seen.  And, to clarify - this isn't just a protest for riding bicycles, but also for the right to drive and generally transport oneself.  

Good luck to all of the women in Saudi Arabia on October 26th and in all future endeavors - ride on, ladies!  

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