You might not realise it but the woman in this photo is risking her life.


This may not look like a protest – there’s no chanting, no picket lines or banners – but activist Loujain Hathloul is taking a stand.

And she is doing it simply by sitting behind the wheel of her car.

Image via Twitter.

The 25-year-old student was arrested after trying to drive across the border of the United Arab Emirates into Saudi Arabia – the only country in the world where it is illegal for a woman to drive a car.

Ms Hathloul, who lives in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, had her passport confiscated and was blocked from returning to her own country, according to Al Jazeera.

“I have been at the Saudi border for 24 hours. They don’t want to give me my passport nor will they let me pass,” she said in a tweet.

Loujain Hathloul’s profile picture on Twitter.

The French literature graduate is an active social media user and was using Twitter to document her protest, before her account went silent.

Her followers responded online and one woman, Saudi journalist Maysaa Alamoud, went to the border to show her support.


Both women have now been arrested, an anonymous activist told the AFP news agency.

“She knew that they wouldn’t let her pass,” the activist said.

Ms Hathloul is not the first woman to take to the road, and social media, in protest of the law.

In October, dozens of women drove in Saudi Arabia and posted images of themselves in an online campaign to have it overturned.

A video of the protest can be seen on YouTube.