Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Saudi Arabia lifts travel restrictions on women

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has allowed adult women to travel without permission and granted them more control over family matters.

A series of royal decrees published by the official gazette on Friday stipulated that a Saudi passport should be issued to any citizen who applies for it and that any person above the age of 21 does not need permission to travel.

The amendments to regulations also grant women for the first time the right to register child birth, marriage or divorce and to be issued official family documents and be eligible as a guardian to children who are minors.

Muna AbuSulayman, a prominent Saudi influencer and a former talk show host, took to Twitter along with thousands of Saudi women to celebrate what many described as a new era.

“A generation growing up completely free and equal to their brothers,” she said, referring to the freedom to travel.

The kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has eased social restrictions, such as lifting a driving ban for women last year.

Other parts of the system remain intact. Women still need permission from a male relative to marry or live on their own.

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