Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Saudi king loosens guardianship rules on women

King Salman issued a directive to government office that, according to women’s rights activists, codifies the rights of Saudi women to access a job, higher education or medical procedures, for example, without a male guardian’s permission.
Female Saudi shoppers walk through the Kingdom Centre shopping mall in Riyadh on December 2, 2016. Simon Dawson / Bloomberg
Female Saudi shoppers walk through the Kingdom Centre shopping mall in Riyadh on December 2, 2016. Simon Dawson / Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a directive to government offices that allows women greater access to government services without the consent of a male relative, local media reported on Thursday.

Women’s rights activists said the memo, which has been circulating in government offices this week, codifies the rights of Saudi women to access a job, higher education or medical procedures, for example, without a male guardian’s permission.

There are no specific laws barring women from these services, but some government bodies previously requested that a male give his consent first.

One Saudi activist said the memo does not appear to change restrictive rules pertaining to the rights of women to obtain a passport or travel abroad without a male relative’s permission.

* Associated Press

Updated: May 5, 2017 04:00 AM

SHARE

SHARE