The Saudi authorities this year plan to loosen restrictions on women to travel abroad, allowing them to leave the territory of the Kingdom without the permission of a male guardian (husband or male relative). This was reported on Thursday the newspaper the Wall Street Journal, citing officials and persons familiar with the matter.
According to the publication, planned actions included the abolition of the laws about guardianship for travel for men and women over the age of 18 that will enable them to leave Saudi Arabia without the consent of the responsible family member is male. The newspaper notes that the power of the Kingdom in this year the government instructed the Committee to revise the laws of guardianship. A WSJ source said that as a result of the Committee’s work related travel restrictions may be changed this year. He also noted that the indication of this came “from above”.
“Without any doubt, the leadership, the government and the people want to see change, – said, in turn, familiar with the plan, the member of the Royal family of Saudi Arabia, this debate is about how to do it as soon as possible without causing a fuss.”
In Saudi Arabia at present women of any age and men under 21 years old require permission from a guardian to travel abroad. As the WSJ notes, providing women opportunities to move freely over the border of the Kingdom will be a departure from the foster care system rooted in Saudi Arabia.
As specifies the edition, the movement for change in this area came after, as world attention was attracted to cases where the number of young Saudi women have left the country and sought refuge, complaining of the laws and customs of the Kingdom. Human rights organizations, the newspaper writes, claim that “the laws about guardianship, make women second-class citizens”, deprived of their basic human rights and social rights and allow for abuse.
The leadership of Saudi Arabia in recent years has taken a number of steps, symbolizing the liberalization of public life and a greater degree of openness of the country. So, in April 2018 in the Kingdom has opened the first 40 years of cinema, and in June lifted the ban on women driving.