FEMEN, the controversial Ukrainian feminist group know for conducting topless protests, joined forces at Kiev's Saudi embassy last week to show their support for Saudi Arabian women and to insist on Saudi women's right to drive. The June 16th demonstration was held one day before dozens of Saudi women defied a national ban in the Arab nation that prohibits women from driving a vehicle.
Donning garments representing the facial cloths worn by Saudi women, FEMEN members, many of them topless, drove by the Saudi embassy with placards reading “No Men's Dictatorship” and “Cars for Women, Camels for Men.” Many FEMEN members also mooned Saudi dignataries as they traveled to and from the embassy. At the end of the campaign, activists threw whips at the embassy to protest Saudi broadcasts encouraging husbands to beat wives that attempt to drive.
According to Demotix, FEMEN calls on the entire civilized democratic world to help Muslim women leave their position of slavery by giving oppressed women organizational, financial, and political support.
Women around the world share FEMEN’s support of Saudi women, including Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
"This is about Saudi women themselves, they have joined together, they are acting on behalf of their own rights," Clinton said at a press conference. "This is not about the United States, it is about the women of Saudi Arabia. And what these women are doing is brave, and what they are seeking is right. But the effort belongs to them."
No word on how the protest was received by men at the Saudi embassy.