Clinton backs Saudi women driver protest

A coalition of Saudi activists on Monday urged Clinton to publicly support the campaign

Topics: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Middle East,

Clinton backs Saudi women driver protestSecretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves as she arrives and meets African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping, right, at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monday, June 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL)(Credit: AP)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is lending her support to women in Saudi Arabia protesting the kingdom’s ban on female drivers.

A day after the State Department said it was handling the issue through quiet diplomacy and not public pronouncements, Clinton on Tuesday spoke out in praise of the protesters. She says their actions are “brave” and their goal is “right.” Clinton stressed it is a homegrown appeal for equal rights and is not being driven by outsiders.

A coalition of Saudi activists on Monday urged Clinton to publicly support the campaign to end male-only driving rules in the ultraconservative Muslim country. Last week, about 40 Saudi women challenged the restrictions by getting behind the wheels of cars.

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