A life changing experience is around the corner for Saudi Arabian women, after the latest news. Saudi Arabia has finally allowed women to travel independently without male permission or guardianship.
They will have the right to apply for getting a passport for the first time after years of restrictions. This step was not easy to take place but after the recent reforms in Saudi Arabia, it became necessarily for women rights. Women had to get permission from a male guardian in order to obtain a passport or travel abroad before the new reforms. Those women who did not have a passport of their own were instead given a page in their male guardians’ passports meaning it was impossible for them to travel without accompaniment.
The new amendment came Friday as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman extended a passel of new rights to women: the right to travel without a male relative’s permission, to receive equal treatment in the workplace and to obtain family documents from the government. Together, they were a significant blow against a system that has long treated women as second-class citizens.
This new amendment was celebrated on social media last Thursday, as hundreds of memes of women holding their suitcases and travelling. And it all started in 2016, when some Saudi Arabian activists used the hashtag #no_guardianship_over_women_travel. And it was trending for a while.
For some women it was a great step for them as it guarantees their freedom after years. As some of the Saudi Arabian women were suffering from domestic violence and they had no way out to get rid of this, but now they have the right to seek justice or protection without husband’s, Father’s, or even son’s permission.
For the other conservative side, it was a provoking idea as they see that the “Guardianship over Saudi Arabian women” by the Saudi Arabian activist Rawda Al Youssef who claims that the guardianship of Saudi Arabian women is for their own good, as the father or the husbands are more aware and responsible to take care of their female relatives. But on the other side, for women who suffered from domestic violence or sexual abuse; it was a prison.
It is worth mentioning that during the recent years of Mohamed Bin Salman rule, Saudi Arabian women restored some of their rights such as the right to drive as it was not allowed before this amendment.