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Manal al-Sharif      

Saudi Women's Rights Advocate

Manal al-Sharif is a Saudi Arabian women's rights activist who helped start a women's right to drive campaign in 2011. She is a leader of Women2Drive, CEO, and Founder of Women2Hack Academy, and is one of the most eminent voices of the Women’s Rights Movement in the Middle East. At the center of major policy, and political and societal debate involving women’s rights over the last several years, al-Sharif offers an enlightening look at the current state of women in Saudi society, told through her stories of fearless attempts to break through taboos. Al-Sharif's efforts ultimately paid off in September 2017 when the Saudi government began allowing women to drive. However, she still does not consider her work done.

Al-Sharif was hosted and interviewed by media fronts such as CNN, BBC and France24 for her bold views and strong stands. Al-Sharif was awarded the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent at the Oslo Freedom Forum, TIME magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”, and the United Nations Human Rights hailed her as “A Driving Force for Change”. She uses her leadership and social media experience coupled with her expertise in IT (she was the first female information security consultant in Saudi Arabia), to ignite social reform.

She speaks to inspire, empower and drive change and her TED talk attracted over 1.5 million views. Her bestselling book "Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening" was ranked as one of the best memoirs of 2017 by Goodreads's Readers Choice Award. It was also listed as the #1 book for the summer by Oprah Magazine.

In January 2019, al-Sharif closed her Twitter account, saying that Saudi authorities had found ways to use the platform that were too authoritarian for her to feel comfortable remaining on Twitter.

Speech Topics

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.

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?


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  ...

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.

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.

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