06/16/2015, 00.00
SAUDI ARABIA
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Riyadh: women to travel without guardian’s permission

New passport rules are under study. Currently, Saudi women come under the guardianship of male family members – fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, and, if they are divorced or orphaned, sons – who alone can grant permission not only to travel, but also leave home, work or go to school.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Saudi Arabia is currently drafting new regulations that would see women travel without the permission of their guardians.

Major General Sulaiman Al-Yahya, director general of the passport department in Riyadh, said the rules would be based on the reasons for travel, not age.

The procedures to allow women to travel without permission include the Interior, Justice and Social Affairs Ministries, as well as other bodies, he said.

Al-Yahya, who spoke at a press conference, added that the passport department is complying with court decisions that allow women to travel abroad, or get passports issued and renewed without the approval of their parents or guardians. These were in line with laws in “advanced countries”.

Under Saudi law, Saudi women are under the guardianship of male family members, namely their fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, and, if they are divorced or orphaned, their sons.

She must not only ask her guardian for permission to travel, but also, leave home, work or go to school.

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