Saudi Women Plan Day of Illegal Driving
Interior ministry warns that they will be punished
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2013 12:13 PM CDT
In this Friday, June 17, 2011 file image made from video released by, a Saudi Arabian woman drives a car as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving, in Riyadh.   (AP Photo/, File)

(Newser) – Saudi Arabian women intend to defy the country's ban on female drivers tomorrow, taking to the road across the country in protest of the law. Organizers say more than 16,000 people have signed an online petition supporting the "26th October Women's Driving Campaign." They're demanding "a valid and legal justification" for the law. "I don't think Saudis look down on women," one participant tells Bloomberg. "It's a matter of fear of change, which will easily be overcome if women show them that we are ready."

For some, it's more than that, clearly; a religious group protested outside the Royal Court earlier this week against the right-to-drive "conspiracy," and one Saudi cleric last month said that driving would damage women's ovaries. The Interior Ministry has warned that the driving ban will be enforced tomorrow, and a ministry spokesman says that those "inciting" women to drive will be punished.