Two Saudi women detained nearly a week ago for violating the kingdom’s female driving ban were ordered held for 25 more days on Sunday, a relative told The Associated Press.
The women, who were arrested Dec. 1 after driving into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates, are supporters of a grassroots campaign launched last year to oppose the ban. The two women have a combined Twitter following of more than 355,000.
Organizers behind the Oct. 26 campaign say the ban on women driving underpins wider issues regarding guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia that give men powerful sway over women’s lives.
Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, set out to defy the kingdom’s ban on women driving by crossing into her country from the UAE.
The kingdom’s hardline interpretation of Islam holds that allowing women to drive encourages licentiousness. No such ban exists in the rest of the Muslim world, including Saudi Arabia’s conservative Gulf neighbors.
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