Saudi grants 50 women the right to travel without a male guardian

It is generally considered illegal for women to travel alone in the conservative kingdom



Saudi Arabia has reportedly given 50 women whose guardians have passed away the legal right to travel alone.

Saudi Gazette cited Tarahum Committee member and Takamul Initiative for Legal Consultancy lawyer Nisreen Al-Ghamdi as saying Jeddah Family Civil Status Courts had recently approved the applications, five of which were non-Saudis who were able to travel with their children.

She told the publication that Saudi women who could prove their guardian has died can legally travel by themselves in the country.

“Jeddah Family Civil Status courts received more than 100 cases of women and minors demanding travel permission after their guardian had passed away. Women wish to travel for tourism, study or medical treatment”, Al Ghambi said.

The official highlighted the process of proving that the deceased was in fact the male guardian.

“The court only requires two witnesses and the reason for travel in order to grant the woman the right to travel.”

However, she revealed that the majority of the requests received by the court were for reasons other than the passing away of a male guardian.

“Jeddah courts have dealt with more than 9,000 cases, 1,977 of the cases were cases of divorce, 1,280 of the cases were cases of alimony, 1,211 of the cases were cases of custody, 619 of the cases were cases of disobedience of the wife, 597 cases of children visits, and 333 cases of khulu (divorce by the wife’s request).”

A further 181 were cases of sadaq (bride wealth), 163 of marital document request, 134 of marital feuds over property, 105 of adhl (when the guardian prohibits the woman from getting married) and five of proof or disproof of kinship through DNA testing, Al Ghambi said.