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Women in Saudi Arabia Can Now Travel Without Men's Permission

The kingdom has recently been easing long-standing social restrictions on women.

Women in Saudi Arabia are finally allowed to travel without male permission. They can decide for themselves when and where they want to go.

Related: A Win for Women! Saudi Women Can Vote and Run for Office

The New Laws

The new Saudi Arabian laws seem like they should have beeeeen in place for decades, TBH. They have finally allowed women to travel without a male guardian or relative. Obvious as it seems, this is a major breakthrough. Women can now apply for a passport and travel without a man’s permission.

According to The Guardian, the new laws also allow women to register a marriage, divorce or birth. Saudi women no longer need permission from a male relative to work, reports The Cut. There are a lot of overdue changes going on here.

Why is this so important? It means that women will no longer be second-class citizens in Saudi Arabia. Well, almost… Some sexist rules still exist in the kingdom:

These Rules That Still Exist:

  1. Women need male permission to leave prison
  2. Women need male permission to leave a domestic-abuse shelter
  3. Male permission is required for women to marry or live alone
  4. Women cannot provide consent for their children to marry
  5. Women cannot pass citizenship on to their children

Point number two is disturbing AF for women facing abusive relationships. The Guardian reports that women’s lives are basically determined by the whims of their male relatives. Legally, Saudi Arabian women have been treated like minors for years.

But the ruling Prince Mohammed bin Salman is making real changes in how the kingdom treats women. From lifting the driving ban to letting women study and get a job, things are getting better. However, gender segregation is still big. Not too long ago, women were banned from entering a Starbucks.

Related: Women Banned From Saudi Arabian Starbucks

Until Recently, Women Weren’t Allowed to Drive

Until 2018, Saudi Arabian women weren’t even allowed to drive. There was a ban on women getting their driver’s licences. Activists and feminists were jailed for lobbying against this ban.

The government has a history of imprisoning women’s-rights activists. While things are moving slowly for gender equality, there are brave women fighting for this to change. In this conservative society, women and their movements are still largely policed. So it’s one step at a time.

Related: Women in Saudi Arabia Are Finally Allowed to Drive!

Saudi women’s choices are still largely controlled by their fathers, husbands, brothers or uncles. It’s a huge win that this is starting to change.

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