Recently, a leading Saudi cleric made headlines when giving an interview in which he warned Saudi women that driving could cause damage to their ovaries -- a comment that was widely interpreted to be a reaction against the October 26 driving campaign and how popular it had grown.
In addition to prohibiting driving, the country's strict and compulsory guardianship system also prevents women from opening bank accounts, working, traveling and going to school without the express permission of a male guardian.
Saudi Arabia has been moving toward change under its current ruler, King Abdullah, who is considered a cautious reformer and proponent of women's rights. In January, he appointed 30 women to the Shura Council, the first time women had been chosen for the country's top consultative body. In 2011, he announced that women could run for office and vote in local elections in 2015. And in 2009, he appointed Saudi Arabia's first female Deputy Minister.