#7 Wajeha al-Huwaider

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Journalist and activist


Wajeha al-Huwaider, 54, vehemently campaigns for Saudi women’s rights in the face of constant harassment and has been compared to the American civil rights leader Rosa Parks. She became an internet sensation when she posted a YouTube video of herself driving around Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed behind wheel.

In 2011, al-Huwaider was charged with kidnapping after she attempted to help Nathalie Morin escape an abusive marriage and flee to the Canadian embassy in Riyadh. She takes a stand against the government’s treatment of women, and her political writings and organised protests have led to arrest, imprisonment and bans on her travel and publications. She co-founded The Association for the Protection and Defense of Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia to provide a platform to further advance women’s rights in the country.

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