Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Saudi Women Got The Right To Drive, But Here Are 8 Things They Still Can’t Do

The news of King Salman of Saudi Arabia decree finally giving women in the conservative Kingdom the right to drive was met with celebration both inside the country and across the globe. Despite this, there are still 8 important decisions a woman in Saudi Arabia cannot make for herself, include:

MARRY:
Permission to marry must be granted by your wali, or guardian. Women who seek to marry foreigners must obtain approval to do by the ministry of interior, and marriage to non-Muslims is so difficult as to be impossible.

OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT:
While there are now a few jobs women in the Kingdom are allowed to do without male permission, such as working as shop assistants or at fairgrounds, they are not allowed to have their own bank account to control their finances without permission.

GET A FAIR TRIAL:
The testimony of a woman is only worth half a man’s in Saudi Arabia’s legal system. Women also only receive half the inheritance their brothers are entitled to.

TRAVEL:
Passports and identification cards must be obtained with the permission of a male guardian. Women are usually also not allowed to leave the home alone.

DRESS HOW THEY WANT:
“Dressing for beauty” is illegal, and modest clothing and make up encouraged.

Full length abayas - a long coat worn over other clothes - must be worn by all women in public, although in recent years rules over the colour, decoration and how headscarves are worn have been relaxed.

INTERACT WITH MEN:
Conversations and time spent with men who are not family members is limited. In public, restaurants, universities and other spaces have both a ‘family’ section and a section reserved for men.

SEEK IMPORTANT MEDICAL TREATMENT:
Even life-saving operations and procedures require the written signature of a male relative.

HAVE CUSTODY OF CHILDREN:
In cases of divorce, women are only allowed custody of their children until they reach the age of seven (boys) and nine (girls).

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