Saudi Arabia to End Guardianship Laws

According to the Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia is considering lifting laws that require women over the age of 18 to get permission from a man to travel within and outside of the country. The laws would also dismantle women needing permission from a man to work and to marry.

Saudi Arabia has received global backlash over its guardianship laws, particularly its government app Absher, which allows men to control women’s every move from their cell phones. Tech giants Apple and Google received a majority of the backlash due to providing the controversial app on its Apple store and Google Play service.

A source told the Wall Street Journal the guardianship laws will end before the end of the year. The paper’s source also noted who was behind the decision to end its surveillance of women and said the order came “from the top.”

The Realist Woman’s take:

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been known to take a few steps forward in terms of cultural changes for his country. He’s also been known to pull in the reigns when things start to become too modern for his taste.

The lingering topic surrounding the Crown Prince is the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. According to reports, his murder and dismemberment were allegedly ordered, “from the top.” I can’t help but wonder if this announcement, from an anonymous source in the Saudi government, is the Crown Prince’s way of trying to repair his reputation as a leader who wants to move his country forward, in order to distract us from the atrocity that was Kashoggi’s murder.

The trend as of late for Saudi women has been punishment by the government when they try to fight for their rights. We have yet to see women traveling freely in the country and we’ll be waiting to see if that actually happens.