Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without approval of guardians
- Women in the conservative kingdom will no longer be required to get the approval of male guardians to travel abroad.
- women over the age of 21 can get passports and travel abroad without permission from male guardians, Saudi authorities announced.
- Kingdom, last year, allowed the women to drive and rules were also changed that necessitated the women to seek permission from male guardians.
Women in the conservative kingdom will no longer be required to get the approval of male guardians to travel abroad. Women will also be able to apply for passports and register a marriage, divorce or birth. Several Saudi women fled the country in recent months and made pleas seeking asylum.
The new law further eases the restrictions on the women within the kingdom. In an earlier such move, Saudi women were, a year ago, allowed to drive and rules were also changed that necessitated the women to seek permission from male guardians to get a job or to study. The social restrictions and limitations applied to Saudi women made them be treated as second-class citizens in the land of their own.
The new law also clarifies that a father or mother can be legal guardians of the children. Access to family documents will also enable women to enroll their children in educational institutions.
According to the new reform, women over the age of 21 can get passports and travel abroad without permission from male guardians, Saudi authorities announced. “The passport department has started receiving applications for women aged 21 and above to issue or renew passports and to travel outside the kingdom without permission,” The Guardian quoted the statement from the department shared on twitter.
However, rules are still in place within the kingdom that requires male’s consent for the women to leave the prison or to get married. Women, there are also unable to pass citizenship to their children and cannot grant permission to the children to marry.
Men still enjoy an upper hand and privilege under Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system as women are still dependent on their guardians in many matters of their lives. The recent change though widely welcomed within the kingdom also invited criticism from the conservatives.
Some have denounced the change as un-Islamic and shared old video sermons of Saudi clerics advocating the stance of male guardianship.
Do you think that the reforms to empower Saudi women are sufficient to satisfy the critics? Share your thoughts in the comment section below