Sunday, October 6, 2013

Manal al-Sharif: A Saudi Woman Who Dared to Drive

This TED talk by Manal al-Sharif starts off by asking the question, "Which is harder, battling oppressive governments or battling oppressive societies?" Although there is no law in Saudi Arabia that bans women from driving, it is a societal norm to discourage this. This norm is so strong that, when Manal posts a video of her driving as a part of her campaign to encourage female drivers, she receives threats to be killed or raped and is eventually detained for a short amount of time. Her campaign, in retaliation, begins to publicly mock the wide-held (and oppressing) belief that allowing women to drive would promote adultery, rape, illegitimate children, drug abuse, and prostitution, "...and only then did [they] realizing that it is so empowering to mock [one's] oppressor, it strips it away of its strongest power: fear". Manal emphasizes that oppression is the worst when women begin to believe in their inferiority. As I will let the viewer watch the video and form their own opinions, I think the question posed at the beginning of this TED talk would be a good discussion topic for a GlobalHealthU session, and how it relates to U-Tena and Kuza's work.

- Alicia

No comments:

Post a Comment