With a bigger-scale protest planned for Oct. 26, women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia defied the country's ban on women driving by getting behind the wheel on Thursday and documenting their actions.
The protest comes days after three female members of Saudi Arabia's Shoura Council introduced a recommendation to the council to lift the ban. Reuters notes that although there is no explicit law on the books banning women from driving, they are not allowed to apply for driver's licenses and have been arrested during previous attempts to protest the ban.
Saudi Arabian blogger Eman Al Nafjan, aka @Saudiwoman, took photos and video while her friend Ameerah Al Muneef drove through the streets of the capital city of Riyadh, including King Abdullah road, which Al Nafjan calls "one of the most main streets in Riyadh!"
The pair were eventually stopped and taken to a police station, where they were later released. Al Nafjan also posted a video from the previous day of psychotherapist Madeha Al Ajroush behind the wheel. In the clip, Al Ajroush says that "now is the time for Saudi women to drive. I'm ready. My daughter is ready. And also society is ready."
The Oct. 26 protest is planned for Riyadh and other cities around Saudi Arabia as part of a campaign featured on Oct26driving.org and a petition called "I support women drivers on 26 October, 2013." USA Today notes that even though Saudi authorities have blocked the website, the petition has over 15,000 signatures.
Shoura councilwoman Latifah Ashaalan told Arab newspaper Al-Hayat that the timing of the recommendation to lift the ban was not related to the Oct. 26 protest and had been in the works for months. Ashaalan reportedly also said that the ban is "shameful" and an "embarrassment" to the country, which is the only one in the world with restrictions on women obtaining a driver's license.