(By Hassan Ammar/Associated Press)

A coalition of Saudi activists is asking Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to get behind its campaign to allow women in the kingdom to drive.

In a letter, a group calling itself “Saudi Women for Driving” has appealed to Clinton to issue a public statement supporting the right of Saudi women to drive. The group has also sent a letter to European Union policy chief Catherine Ashton.

“We do not make this request lightly, but we believe that you making a public statement of support for Saudi Arabia opening the country’s roads to women would be a game changing moment,” the group wrote.

“Secretary Clinton, you are a friend. Indeed, some of us have met you personally during your decades-long journey as a champion of women’s rights all over the world,” the letter continues. “Now, as we build the largest Saudi women’s protest movement in decades, we need your help.”

On Friday, several dozen women in Saudi Arabia defied the ban on driving after an Internet campaign that has been spread through social media.

Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent this tweet to her followers:

Beep beep and solidarity to the Saudi women & supporters challenging the driving ban! http://t.co/w31znJI #Women2Driveless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyNancy Pelosi