Cheers and Jeers

Saudis Dare to Drive; Nations Ranked for Danger

Friday, June 17, 2011



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An informal coalition of Saudi women's rights activists said women across the country began driving their cars on June 17 in defiance of a ban on female drivers in the kingdom. The driving protest occurred one month after Manal Al-Sharif, a Saudi computer technician and mother, was arrested and jailed for driving her own car. The group made the announcement in a June 16 press statement.

The Women2Drive Facebook page, which includes messages of support from around the world, said the campaign would continue until a royal decree reversed the ban, reported Global Post June 17. The campaign has been publicized on social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, where women have been posting images of themselves driving.

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More News to Cheer This Week:

  • Anti-choice billboards stating that "the most dangerous place for a Latino in his mother's womb" were removed this week, according to a press statement released by The Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles on June 16.
  • U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to her Houston home on June 15 after a five-month stay at TIRR Memorial Herman, reported The Associated Press June 15. She and her husband also left to visit their home Tucson, Ariz., the following day--her first trip back since she was shot at point-blank range.
  • On June 15, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch vetoed a bill requiring pregnant underage women who wanted an abortion to notify their parents or a judge of their decision, reported The Associated Press June 15.
  • Growing numbers of gay couples across the country are adopting. The New York Times reports that about 19 percent of same-sex couples raising children reported having an adopted child in the house in 2009, up from 8 percent in 2000.
  • The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a federal lawsuit June 13 to halt implementation of the requirements that women wanting an abortion in Texas must have a sonogram and hear a detailed description of the fetus, reported the Dallas Morning News, June 13.
  • N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a Marriage Equality Act, which would remove barriers for New York state residents who were denied the right to marry solely because they were of the same sex. The state's Senate is one vote away from approving it, according to combined press reports.
  • A high-level U.N. meeting has produced an ambitious plan to largely eliminate by 2015 the transmission of the AIDS virus from pregnant women to their newborns, The New York Times editors noted in an editorial June 13.
  • Michelle Bachelet, under-secretary-general and executive director of UN Women, will bring attention during her visit to Tunisia to women's role in the nation's movement toward democracy and the need to make gender equality a part of the country's reform process, reported UN Women in a June 16 press statement.

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