Why can't women drive in Saudi Arabia?

A lady in a car

Around 60 women in Saudi Arabia drove cars on Saturday despite being warned they could be arrested.

Although it's not against the law for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, the country's Islamic establishment enforces a ban.

Women can't get a driving licence, so some women travel abroad to get one.

Last week the Saudi interior ministry said female drivers could be punished if they do drive - but no female drivers were arrested on Saturday.

Why the ban?

It is the law in Saudi Arabia that every woman must have a male guardian. This is often a relative or the woman's husband.

A guardian goes everywhere with the woman and traditionally gives her permission to do things like open a bank account.

Manal explains why she thinks women are banned from driving

Some people think women don't need to drive, because they don't travel without a man who can drive for her.

Campaigner Manal al-Sharif thinks women are banned from driving because allowing women to drive may threaten the guardian system.

More on This Story

  • Newsround logoWatch Newsround

    Watch the latest update from Newsround, CBBC's news programme for children.

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.