Manal Al Sharif
Saudi Women's Rights Activist. Author of ‘Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening’
Manal has been listed as one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people, as one of Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech and by Newsweek as one of the 10 tech-revolutionaries in the world.
She is a prominent voice advocating for women's rights and empowerment and was one of the first Saudi women to specialise in Information Security, starting her career in 2002 with Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world.
In 2011, Manal co-founded and led the #Women2Drive movement to challenge the ban on women driving in her home country of Saudi Arabia and #IAmMyOwnGuardian with the aim to end male guardianship in her country. In June 2018, as a result of the campaign, the Saudi government lifted the ban on women driving. Manal also started #Faraj, a campaign to help domestic helpers leave jail, and #IAmLama which resulted in codifying the first anti-domestic violence law in Saudi. As a result of her tireless activism, she was awarded the first Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent.
A blogger and regular contributor to international media, Manal has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Alhayat and many other publications. Her 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.
Manal is also a TED & Harvard speaker, she has also spoken for 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, the Clinton Global Initiative, Women in the World, Dallas World Affairs Council, and many others.