By Edwina Seselja
Saudi Arabian women have cruised through the streets on skateboards and scooters in a music video protesting the oppression of women in the Middle Eastern kingdom.
The video — titled Hwages, which loosely translates to "concerns" — opens with three women wearing niqabs waiting in the back of an SUV before a young boy gets behind the wheel.
The scene highlights the strict controls placed on women in Saudi Arabia, where they are banned from driving and are subject to a guardianship system, whereby they must seek the permission of a male family member to do everything from travel, work and study.
In the clip, the women can be seen playing basketball, singing, dancing — all activities women are not allowed to do in public spaces.
The video has been viewed more than 3.1 million times on YouTube.
The global reach of social media has been particularly crucial in enabling women to highlight oppressive social issues, Raihan Ismail, a lecturer at the Centre for Arab and Islamic studies at the Australian National University, said. "In a closed political system such as Saudi Arabia, social media plays an important role," she said.
"It creates awareness, it mobilises support.
"It demonstrates that people are not just sitting at home and accepting whatever the ruling family or the religious establishment impose on them." Dr Ismail said the lyrics of the song could be roughly translated to: "We wish God rid us of men, because they have given us mental illness".
"People often portray Saudi women as lacking in agency, as if they have no say and they're not doing anything about it," she said.
"But Saudi Arabia women have agency, they are fighting the system. "They're on Twitter, they're on Facebook challenging some of the decisions introduced by the government or religious beliefs."
Dr Ismail said the guardianship system remained in place due to the relationship government and the religious establishment.
"There's a partnership between the government and the religious establishment, so the government or the ruling family is dependent on the religious establishment to provide them legitimacy to rule," she said.
"In exchange, the religious establishment is in charge of social issues."
Dr Ismail said it was possible the creators of the video and the women in the clip could face repercussions, including arrests, receiving lashes, or even being jailed.
It is not the first time Saudi women have used music videos to gain attention. In 2013, a clip called No Woman No Drive was released protesting the driving ban.