Saudi women drive down memory lane
Riyadh: In an ornate living room, a group of women gathered around coffee and date cakes to celebrate the afternoon 18 years ago when they got into cars and drove the streets of Riyadh, a stunning defiance of Saudi Arabia's ban on female driving.
They have only one regret: the ban remains.
The protest, which made headlines around the world, cost the 47 female drivers and passengers dearly. They were arrested, lost their jobs for two-and-a-half years, were banned from travel for a year and were condemned by the clergy. To this day, some say they have not been promoted at work because of their protest.
But amid the memories and laughter, there was also the sobering reality that over the past 18 years, little progress has been made toward reversing the driving ban and addressing other women's rights issues there.