The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently introduced a new law regarding women’s empowerment. According to the reports, women can now live independently without requiring any consent from a male guardian. Previously, in Saudi Arabia women needed permission from their fathers, brothers, husbands, or any other guardian but after a new legal amendment by the Kingdom, family members cannot control women’s lives anymore.
This has come as a landmark change in regime that has discriminated against women throughout history in terms of rights. However, in recent years, KSA has seen a dramatic shift towards empowering women. Women are also allowed to drive in the Kingdom.
How The Law Helps Saudi Arabia Women?
KSA removed clause (b) from Article 169 of “Law of Procedure before Sharia Courts”. It stated that an adult woman, single, divorced, or widowed must be handed over to her male guardian. The replaced law now states that adult women can now choose where to live and where to not. A male guardian can only intervene if there’s evidence of crime against her.
If any woman was sentenced to a time in prison, she would also be allowed to live independently if she wants. The law stated that she must not be automatically handed over to a man after doing time.
Previously, families of the women were able to file lawsuits if they refused to live with them and expressed wished to live somewhere else. Now the Saudi courts would not accept such cases anymore.
How Saudi Men Abused their Authority on Women
According to the reports, KSA started to study its male guardianship system in 2019 and learn how it was being abused so much. Soon after the courts strengthened their laws to protect women, children, and other individuals from the terrible behavior of those men with guardianship powers. In the same year, Saudi Arabia women received permission to travel internationally without approval from male guardians.
Many women have escaped the Kingdom because of their abusive guardians despite the series of reforms in the country. In 2019, a teenage girl from Saudi escaped to Thailand and dodged authorities to avoid deportation, saying her life would be in danger if she went back to the Kingdom. Now KSA is offering a passport to any Saudi national applying for it.
Vision 2030 by MBS
As part of the Vision 2030 plan by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), women have now access to many areas which were restricted for them before.
Earlier, the Kingdom allowed women aged 18 and above with identification cards, to change their names without the permission of males. Then after some time, another law allowed Saudi Arabia women to be free of travel restrictions. If they were over 21 years, they were allowed to hold passports and travel openly without any man’s approval. KSA has also been planning to diversify its workforce. Recently, women have been enforced as police in Mecca too.