05 Aug Historical Manumission in Saudi Arabia
Followed by the demolition of triple talaq in India, Saudi Arabia on Thursday, 1 August 2019, has announced a series of declarations for women upliftment and granting them more personal freedoms, including the right to travel without seeking anyone’s permission, obtain a passport and register childbirth, marriage or divorce, the official gazette
This new amendment will now allow women over the age of 21 to travel without seeking anyone’s permission, surpassing away at a severely criticized male-dominant system in the kingdom.
For the first time, Saudi women will also, be allowed to be work on official family documents and to be chosen as guardians of minor children.
According to the guardianship system in Kingdom, every woman is allotted a male relative – often a father or husband but occasionally an uncle, brother or even a son – whose consent is required for most legal actions.
The vicissitudes to the law come at a time of keen scrutiny over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
The law also spoke about the employment regulations that will expand work openings for women, who represent a big portion of the kingdom’s unemployed.
They specify that all citizens have the right to work without facing discrimination based on gender, disability or age, but whether the new guidelines translate to actual change is yet to be seen.
When it comes to changes in the department of Civil Status, a woman’s residency is not based on her husband’s anymore.
Amendments to the Civil Status Law included that women can report births. The amendments called for the “parents of the child” to report the birth after it had previously been limited to the “father of the child”.
Recent improvements to Saudi laws upsetting women have included
- Culmination of the ban on women driving,
- Facilitation of restrictions on gender mixing, and
- Permitting women to help in the armed forces.
Still, many of the courageous women’s protestors who have pushed for those changes are in prison – often held without charge or trial – including Samar Badawi who is a receiver of the United States’ 2012 International Women of Courage Award.
Badawi, who is famous for her raising her voice against the guardianship system, was arrested as part of a crackdown on the women’s rights movement that began on 15 May 2018.
Rights groups say the guardianship plan turns women into second-class citizens, not allowing them of social and economic independence and making them more vulnerable to violence.
Supporters of the Saudi government have promoted the social reforms as part of a modernizing drive instigated by the crown prince.
Still, the revolutions have been accompanied by a curb on dissent, including the alleged torture of some of the protestors detained for campaigning to improve women’s constitutional rights.