Ride sharing services are driving women Saudi Arabia to voting booths for free.

One tweet was all it took.

Before that, were women in Saudi Arabia who were given the right to vote in this year’s election, were often unable to get to the polling booths because they cannot drive.

That small barrier had contributed to a shockingly low level of registration to vote in the election, with only 16 women signing up since August 22 this year according to Fusion.

But with one single tweet, Wall Street Journalist and Saudi correspondent Ahmed Al Omran convinced car services operating out of Saudi Arabia, Uber and Careem, to band together and offer free rides to women wishing to register and vote in the upcoming election.

This is significant as according to PBS, a big reason women had failed to register was the fact that the majority of them can’t drive in Saudi Arabia, and therefore couldn’t get to the polling booths to register.

A simple and devastating explanation.

But as it turns out, one that was easily rectified. Since the tweet was sent, both Careem Saudi and Uber Riyadh have replied via Twitter with their support.


Unfortunately, though this significant hurdle may have been addressed, there are still many other systemic issues that could effect women’s ability to vote.

Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher for Human Rights Watch, told PBS that a significant barrier is the need for women to have a valid ID card, as well as proof of residency.

As women’s names aren’t usually listed on bills or documents, this is difficult for them to produce.

In addition to this, a Middle East women’s rights researcher with Human Rights Watch, Rothna Begum, spoke to Fusion about the restrictions that family may put on women who wish to vote.

“If [the companies offer rides] and their male guardian is not happy with them leaving the house, the male guardian can still stop them from leaving the house,” she said. “There is nothing to allow women to enable themselves to leave the house and register themselves to vote.”

A follow up tweet sent by Ahmed Al Omran.

Despite the significant barriers that women in Saudi Arabia are yet to overcome, the tweet sent by Omran proves the power of a single voice.

Just imagine what an entire population of women voting could achieve.