Manal al-Sharif is a pioneering women's rights activist who has fearlessly fought for the empowerment and equality of women in the Middle East. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, al-Sharif saw firsthand the barriers and restrictions placed on women and was determined to bring about change.
In 2011, she made history by defying the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia and taking to the streets behind the wheel of a car. Her bold action sparked a nationwide movement and inspired others to join the fight. As the leader of the #Women2Drive movement in Saudi Arabia, Ms. al-Sharif has been instrumental in advocating for women's rights. Her powerful and inspiring speeches have captivated audiences around the world, sharing her story of perseverance, bravery, and hope.
Her speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum, which highlighted the importance of technology in empowering individual voices, has been listed among the 75 most notable speeches in history, Speeches of Note, Sean Usher. She is the author of Goodreads Choice Award of the Best Memoirs in 2017: "Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening."
An accomplished leader and advocate, al-Sharif received the inaugural Vaclav Havel Award for Creative Dissent with Ai Weiwei and Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been recognized as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the World, one of Forbes' Top 50 Women in Tech, and one of Newsweek's Top 10 Digital Revolutionaries. Notably, al-Sharif is not only an advocate for women's rights but also a computer scientist and an accomplished cyber security expert, the founder of the Ethical Technologists Society, and the host of the "Tech for Evil" podcast that discusses the intersection between tech and human rights.
al-Sharif's unwavering commitment to advancing women's rights and promoting equality has made her a sought-after speaker on the international stage, having shared her insights at prestigious events and venues, including TED Global, WIRED, UN, Harvard, SXSW, Sydney Opera House, Australian Open, the FIFA Women's World Cup, and the Obama Summit.
Social Activism & Women’s Rights
The methods of activism will continue to evolve along with developments in culture and technology. Leveraging social media to practice social activism for Social reform in correlation to women. What is the context in Saudi and other countries in the region? Are women here still denied their basic rights to education and freedom, and face violence and abuse? What is being done about it and where does religion stand?
Women Empowerment & Women in Tech
Why is it important for women to acknowledge the special status they deserve in society? What difference can our actions make to the position of women now and for the future? Her story about how it is to be a working woman in a mostly male-dominated career field world-wide and specifically in Saudi Arabia. The challenges, the facts and the reality and how they can either make you or break you.
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