Woman preparing to travel
One year after obtaining the right to drive in the Kingdom, Saudi women have just been authorized by decree of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to hold passports and travel abroad without the prior authorization of a man as stipulated by local traditions.
A small gesture for men, a big step for women. On August 1st, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Arabia signed a decree granting Saudi women the right to hold passports and travel abroad without the prior permission of a “male guardian”.
Published in the Official Gazette by the Saudi Government, the decree specifies that the Saudi passport will be issued to any citizen who requests it and that any person over the age of 21 will no longer need a travel permit. A decision welcomed by many people via social networks and by Princess Reema, Saudi Ambassador to the United States, in particular:
These new regulations are history in the making. They call for the equal engagement of women and men in our society. It is a holistic approach to gender equality that will unquestionably create real change for Saudi women. 3/4
— Reema Bandar Al-Saud (@rbalsaud) August 2, 2019
One step forward may hide another
In line with the Vision 2030 reform and the desire to improve the status of Saudi women in the Kingdom, the government has gone even further by making changes to its labor and civil laws.
From the end of August, Saudi women will also be able to register births, marriages or divorces and be issued official family documents. They may also be recognized as guardians of minor children. With regard to labor law, the Kingdom stated that, from now on, all citizens could work without discrimination on the grounds of sex, disability or age.