Now Saudi Arabia allows woman to travel abroad without male guardian's approval
Riyadh, Aug 02: Ending a restriction that drew international censure, Saudi Arabia has now allowed adult women to travel abroad without approval from a male 'guardian', the government said on Thursday.
The decree announced on Friday comes after high-profile attempts by women to escape their guardians, despite a string of reforms including an historic decree last year that overturned the world's only ban on female motorists.
A Saudi passport will be issued to any citizen who applies for it and that any person above the age of 21 does not need permission to travel.
Reema Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia's first female ambassador to the United States, also confirmed the report in a social media post.
However, it is unclear from when this will come to effect.
If implemented, the landmark reform ends the long-standing guardianship system that renders adult women as legal minors and allows their guardians - husband, father and other male relatives - to exercise arbitrary authority over them.
Over a period of time, the Saudi kingdom's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has earlier eased many social restrictions, such as lifting a driving ban for women last year, as part of a push to open up the conservative Muslim kingdom and transform the economy.
Several high-profile cases of young women seeking asylum abroad on claims of gender-based repression have added further pressure on Riyadh over the male guardian system.
While the other parts of the system remain intact. Women still need permission from a male relative to marry or live on their own.