Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian approval

Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian approval

Saudi women no longer require permission from a “male guardian” to travel or obtain a passport, a key step in dismantling a symbol of the Kingdom’s rule that has made women second-class citizens in their own country.

According to the decree signed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, women over the age of 21 can apply for a passport without authorization from a male guardian.

The decree clearly stresses the right of every Saudi citizen to obtain a passport and limits the need for a guardian’s approval to minors only.

The royal decrees also grant women the right to register childbirth, marriage or divorce and also cover employment regulations that expand work opportunities for women.

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Under the rule, all citizens have the right to work without facing any discrimination based on gender, disability or age.

The move comes at a time of increased international scrutiny of women’s status in Saudi Arabia. In recent months several young women have fled the country and made public pleas for help in seeking asylum from their family and the government.

The country’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, has sought to present himself as a modernist reformer since being appointed heir to the throne in 2017.