Middle East and North Africa Human Rights
Global Leadership Awards
In Saudi Arabia, where women are forbidden to drive — not by law, but by custom — Manal Alsharif not only drove on the open road but posted a video of her act online. The video went viral, and Manal quickly became known as the “Rosa Parks of Saudi Arabia.”
While she has been persecuted and even imprisoned for defying Saudi norms, Manal remains an advocate for women’s rights. “It’s our responsibility now to create the change for the next generation,” she says. The founder of a social media movement called Women2Drive, in 2012 she was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.