RIYADH - A Saudi woman defied the kingdom’s ban on female driving, getting behind the wheel of her husband’s car before police detained the couple and fined the man, a newspaper said Sunday.
The 23-year-old woman was caught driving on Thursday in the Qatif district in Eastern Province, the Saudi Gazette said, adding police forced the couple to sign a pledge not to repeat the offence. They were released on bail and the traffic department fined her 28-year-old husband 900 riyals ($240) and impounded his car for seven days, it said.
The woman also received a penalty for driving without a license, a permit that she cannot apply for in the ultra-conservative kingdom because of its ban on female driving. Women’s rights activists make frequent calls to challenge the ban, the only one of its kind in the world.
Some of those who do challenge the ban post videos of themselves driving online. Few have been arrested. In addition to not being allowed to drive, Saudi women must cover themselves from head to toe and need permission from a male guardian to travel, work and marry.