Wajeha Al Huwaidar is a writer and journalist. She is a prominent Arab woman fighting for justice and campaigning for the Saudi Women’s Right to Drive – the right to move freely.
Wajeha Al Huwaidar was born in Saudi Arabia. She is a single mother of two sons, and works as an analyst in the Saudi oil company Aramco. She has a Master’s degree from The George Washington University and specializes in learning difficulties.
Wajeha Al Huwaidar has been voicing her opinion for several years. In August 2003, the Saudi Interior Ministry banned her from writing in the Saudi Press. Since then she has published her articles on the reformist Arabic websites and has gained international recognition. In November 2004, Wajeha Al Huwaidar was awarded the PEN/NOVIB Free Expression Award at The Hague for her work for freedom of expression and advancement of women’s rights.
Wajeha Al Huwaidar is determined to free Saudi Women. On August 4, 2006, Wajeha Al Huwaidar became the first woman to protest in public in Saudi Arabia. She staged a public protest on the occasion of the first anniversary of Saudi King Abdallah bin Abd Al Aziz’s accession to the throne. She stood on the street with a sign saying “Give Women Their Rights”. She stood alone because all other women feared the repercussions from their families and the government. Wajeha Al Huwaidar was questioned and detained for several hours. She was not permitted to return to her adopted home Bahrain and was forced to remain in Saudi Arabia until September 28 when she was allowed back.