Speakers Profile - Manal al-Sharif

Author, Public Speaker | Women2Drive Leader

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Manal al-Sharif, named by the TIME as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, she is a prominent voice advocating for women's rights in the Muslim and the Arab world.

Her speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum, which highlighted the importance of technology in empowering individual voices, has been listed among the 75 most notable speeches in history, Speeches of Note, Sean Usher. She is the
author of Goodreads Choice Award of the Best Memoirs in 2017: "Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening".

In 2011, Manal co-founded and led the #Women2Drive campaign, to challenge the ban on women driving in her country. She was arrested and imprisoned for "driving while female". She was released on the condition that she never drives again on Saudi lands, never to speak about it or do any interviews. Despite all, she continued campaigning for #Women2Drive and #IAmMyOwnGuardian to end male guardianship in her country. She started #Faraj, to help domestic helpers leave jail and #IAmLama that resulted in codifying the first anti-domestic violence law in Saudi. For her activism, she won the first Vaclav Havel award for Creative Dissent. She was also loaded by Foreign Policy, Newsweek, and Vital Voices.

She is a TED speaker and also spoke at Harvard's Arab Week, the United Nations, UNESCO, Oslo Freedom Forum, WIRED, Trust Women, The Arab Institute in Paris, the Center for International and Strategic Studies, Clinton Initiative, the Obama Summit, SXSW, Sydney Opera House, Women in the World, Dallas World Affairs Council, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, YouTube, Australian Open, FIFA's Women's Football World Cup and many others.

Manal is a blogger and a regular contributor to international media. She wrote for Time, Newsweek, NY Times, Washington Post, and Alhayat based in London.

She is known to be the first Saudi women to specialise in Information Security with a career started back in 2002 with ARAMCO, the largest energy producer in the world. Ms. al-Sharif is the founder and host of the Tech4Evil.com podcast, which examines the interplay between human rights and technology.

She also founded the Ethical Technologists Society, an initiative that promotes ethical practices in technology that impacts human rights defenders living under dictatorships.

She is a member of Professional Speakers Australia and sought after speaker around Australia and internationally.