Saudi Arabia implements end to travel restrictions for women

Saudi Arabia women no longer require permission from a male guardian to travel or obtain a passport. Riyadh has long faced international criticism over the status of Saudi women. Rights groups say women are often treated as second-class citizens under rules requiring them to get the consent of a male guardian for important decisions throughout their entire lives, regardless of age.

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The authorities of Saudi Arabia have steadily chipped away at those restrictions in recent years, including ending a ban on women driving cars last year. A series of royal decrees published earlier this month further eroded that system as the kingdom comes under increased scrutiny over its human rights record.

Saudi passports

The regulatory changes stipulated that a Saudi passport should be issued to any citizen who applies for it and that any person above the age of 21 does not need permission to travel. They also granted women for the first time the right to register child birth, marriage or divorce and to be issued official family documents and be eligible as a guardian to children who are minors.

“The passports and civil status departments and their branches in all regions of the kingdom have started to implement the amendments stipulated in the royal decree,” the SPA report said, citing an interior ministry source.

A Saudi Arabia newspaper reported that more than 1,000 women in the country’s Eastern Province had left Saudi Arabia on August 19 without their guardian’s permission, in what appeared to be an early implementation of the new rules.

Women´s Rights

Women’s rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls worldwide, and formed the basis for the women’s rights movement in the nineteenth century and feminist movement during the 20th century. In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behavior, whereas in others they are ignored and suppressed. They differ from broader notions of human rights through claims of an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls, in favor of men and boys. Issues commonly associated with notions of women’s rights include the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to be free from sexual violence; to vote; to hold public office; to enter into legal contracts; to have equal rights in family law; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to have reproductive rights; to own property; to education.

First woman freedom fighter

Sucheta Kriplani (née Mazumdar, 25 June 1908 – 1 December 1974) was an Indian freedom fighter and politician. She was India’s first woman Chief Minister, serving as the head of the Uttar Pradesh government from 1963 to 1967.

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest.

Problems Faced by Women in India

Gender Disparity: Many studies reveal that both professional and non-professional women experience heavy stress due to gender bias. Although women have proved the best of their abilities in various fields of work at par with men, they still continue to have a grip over their household responsibilities. In spite of their hard work, women have been given second importance in their field of work.

Dual Responsibility: Women’s attitude towards their stereotyped (traditional) role is rapidly changing and their participation in different job sectors is increasing alarmingly due to low economic condition of family, advancement in the field of women education, granting of more liberty, rights and privileges to women.

Illiteracy and Traditional Belief: Illiteracy and traditional beliefs and practices of family have prevented a great majority of women from access to health care and knowledge about their rights and privileges resulting high rate of maternal mortality and morbidity. In our society male members of the family are supposed to eat fresh and nutrition’s food in comparison to women because either they are the earning member or head of the family or they are supposed to be more important than female members.

Social Stigma and Poverty Condition: Crime and violence against women are on the rise. This is only due to social stigma that women are weaker section of society. Poverty condition compels the poor women to sell their minor girl like commodity and give away their grown-up daughter into slavery to another family to perform household activities. They are subject to victim of STD. (Sexual Transmitted Disease) AIDS due to unprotected sex as they are able to protest.

However during these few decades, industrialization, urbanization, westernization and spread of women education have brought about drastic changes in women’s, lives but still they are facing multifarious and multidimensional problems. Despite so much hue and cry in the whole world for equal treatment of-both men and women in every aspect of life we are still lagging behind in achieving the goal.

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