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Saudi Arabia

One Year Later, Saudi Women Relaunch Campaign For Right To Drive


RIYADH – "We just want to enjoy the right to drive, like all women in the world..."

This request is clear, and it is set to be made -- once again -- directly to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. One year after the launching of a campaign entitled "Women 2 Drive," Saudi Arabia women presented a new online petition this week to claim the right to drive.

Although the Koran does not forbid women from driving, Saudi Arabia has based their ban on a fatwa from powerful conservative religious leaders. Saudi Arabia, an ultraconservative Islamic kingdom, is the only country in the world that forbids women from driving.

In the petition, women are also asking for "the opening of driving schools for women only, as well as the right for them to get driver licenses." In addition, they thank King Abdullah for giving them the right to vote, from 2015 onwards, while being careful to add that they don't want to "infringe any prevailing laws."

The movement started in May 2011, after Manal al-Chérif was kept in prison for 10 days for adding a video on Youtube in which she was driving (see below), the Lebanese newspaper L'Orient-Le Jour reports. Icon of "Women 2 Drive," Manal al-Chérif already signed the petition that should be handed to the King on June 17.

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How I Made Homeschooling Work For My Mexican Family

Educating children at home is rarely accepted in Mexico, but Global Press Journal reporter Aline Suárez del Real's family has committed to daily experiential learning.

How I Made Homeschooling Work For My Mexican Family

Cosme Damián Peña Suárez del Real and his grandmother, Beatriz Islas, make necklaces and bracelets at their home in Tecámac, Mexico.

Aline Suárez del Real

TECÁMAC, MEXICO — Fifteen years ago, before I became a mother, I first heard about someone who did not send her child to school and instead educated him herself at home. It seemed extreme. How could anyone deny their child the development that school provides and the companionship of other students? I wrote it off as absurd and thought nothing more of it.

Today, my 7-year-old son does not attend school. Since August of last year, he has received his education at home, a practice known as home-schooling.

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