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Manal al-Sharif      

Saudi Women's Rights Advocate & Author of "Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening"

Manal al-Sharif, one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world and Newsweek’s top 10 tech-revolutionaries, is a prominent voice advocating for women's rights and empowerment. She is known to be the first Saudi woman to specialize in Information Security with a career started back in 2002 with Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world at the time.

In 2011, al-Sharif co-founded and led the #Women2Drive movement, to challenge the ban on women driving in her country. She was arrested and imprisoned for "driving while female." Released on the condition that she never drives again on Saudi lands, never to speak about it or do any interviews. Nonetheless, she continued campaigning for #Women2Drive and #IAmMyOwnGuardian to end the male guardianship in her country. She started #Faraj, to help domestic helpers leave jail and #IAmLama that was one of the reasons for codifying the first anti-domestic violence law in Saudi. For her activism, she won the first Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent.

She is a TED and Harvard speaker, and she also spoke in the United Nations, UNESCO, the Obama Summit, Google, Yahoo!, Oslo Freedom Forum, WIRED, Trust Women, The Arab Institute in Paris, the Center for International and Strategic Studies in Washington DC, Roosevelt House in NY, Clinton Global Initiative, Women in the World, Dallas World Affairs Council, and many others.

Her speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum was chosen amongst 75 notable speeches throughout history, published in the book Speeches of Note by Shaun Usher.

A blogger and regular contributor to international media, al-Sharif has written for the NY Times, the Washington Post, Al-Hayat, and many others. Her Amazon bestseller memoir "Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening," is an intimate story of her life growing up in one of the most masculine societies in the world. It was voted by GoodReads Readers Choice Award as one of the best ten memoirs for 2017 and was listed as the #1 book for the summer read by Oprah Magazine.

al-Sharif speaks to inspire, empower and drive change.

Speech Topics

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.



Meet the 2018 Glamour Women of the Year
For the past 28 years, the 'Glamour' Women of the Year Awards has honored game changers, rule breakers, and trailblazers. This year’s class of extraordinary females is no exception.
Manal al-Sharif: What is next for women in Saudi Arabia after being ...
Manal al-Sharif, a women's rights activist, is author of “Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening.” Saudi Arabia is finally freeing itself from the grip of decades of religious fundamentalism. The key to this change? Car keys. On Sept. 26, the Saudi government formally announced that it would lift the ban on women driving.
I Left My Son in a Kingdom of Men - The New York Times
Manal al-Sharif is the author of the forthcoming memoir “Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening.” Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter. A version of this op-ed appears in print on June 11, 2017, on Page SR7 of the New  ...

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