Saudi women can finally travel without permission from a man.
A reform that makes it possible for women to travel – including abroad – without the need for permission from a male “guardian” has come into effect in Saudi Arabia.
Local media reported more than 1,000 women crossed entry points in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province alone a few hours after the restriction was lifted.
Meanwhile, women took to social media to celebrate the lifting of the restriction, with some hailing the day as the beginning of the “women’s age.”
Historic day.. https://t.co/XJA2LwLbwq
— Muna AbuSulayman منى (@abusulayman) August 20, 2019
While it was announced in early August that women would be able to travel independently, some elements of the restriction remain. Permission is still required from parents for women under 21 without study plans to travel abroad. Further, only a male parent can apply for passports for children under 15 years old.
Saudi women can now also legally register a marriage, divorce or birth of a child, become the official guardian of a child, and be issued official family documents.
The relaxing of so-called wilayah, or “guardianship” laws restricting women’s equal rights comes amid other milestones for women in the kingdom in recent years. For instance, in 2018, women gained the right to drive for the first time.