Nightly News   |  October 26, 2013

Saudi women rise up – in the driver’s seat

Women in Saudi Arabia took to the streets – in cars – to protest the nation’s ban on female drivers, documenting their defiance on Twitter and YouTube. NBC’s Annabel Roberts reports.

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>>> overseas a protest for women's right to drive in a country where they are not allowed to do so. it happened in saudi arabia as women took a bold step. they got behind the wheel. our report tonight from anna bell roberts.

>> reporter: aziza al yusef left home in her car as she does every day. this time it's different. she's in the driver's seat. [ speaking in a foreign language ]

>> reporter: my choice is to drive my car . why should i be deprived of that? the college lecturer got her permit two years ago abroad. driving permits here are only handed out to men. women are forced to employ drivers or rely on male relatives. the campaign women to drive was trending on twitter.

>> we ask every woman who has a driving license and is able to drive to go out.

>> reporter: a few uploaded clips of their action as. activists say their message is being heard.

>> it is a basic human right. there is absolutely no reason in the world that we cannot drive. [ speaking in a foreign language ]

>> reporter: this this man disagrees. last month sali al luhaden said driving could damage women's ovaries. the most common reason in this ultra conservative society is it's just not safe.

>> there is an excuse that the road is a risk and a lady can't handle the road.

>> reporter: some think humor is the best vehicle for change. this comedian with this take on the bob marry classic has had 300,000 views in a day. saudi arabia is the only country in the world where women can't drive. today's protest drew worldwide attention but changed nothing for now at home. anna bell roberts, nbc news, london.