ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, the Saudi teen who fled her country says she plans to pursue an education, get a job and live a normal life in Canada while advocating in support of freedom for women around the world.
"I know that there are unlucky women who disappeared after trying to escape or could not do anything to change their reality," said Qunun at a news conference on Tuesday.
Qunun grabbed international attention last week after she barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to resist being sent home to her family, which denies abusing her.
Qunun refused to meet her father and brother, who arrived in Bangkok to try to take her back to Saudi Arabia.
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees granted her refugee status, and Canada agreed to take her in.
Canada's decision to grant Qunun asylum comes at a delicate time.
Relations between Ottawa and Riyadh have been tense after Canada demanded the immediate release of jailed rights activists last year.
Saudi Arabia retaliated by freezing new trade with Ottawa and forcing many of its students to return to the kingdom.
Qunun's case has drawn global attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male "guardian" in order to travel, something rights groups say can trap women and girls as prisoners of abusive families.
"I want to be independent.
Make my own decisions on education, a career, or who and when I should marry.
I had no say in any of this.
Today I can proudly say I am capable of making all of those decisions," said Qunun.