Saudi Arabia allows women to travel alone

Saudi Arabia allows women to travel alone

Women in Saudi Arabia will finally be allowed to hold passports and travel abroad without the consent of a male guardian, a policy shift that marks a significant loosening of the Kingdom’s notorious restrictions on women.

The new amendment was approved on Thursday by the Saudi Cabinet, and will allow all Saudi women to apply for passports “like all citizens” and for women aged 21 and above to travel independently, according to a statement from the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Information.

Previously women had to gain approval from a male guardian in order to obtain a passport. Women without a passport of their own were instead given a page in their male guardians’ passports, making it impossible for them to travel without guardian accompaniment — controls rights campaigners have criticized as oppressive to women.

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