For hundreds of years, single women in Saudi Arabia were required to have a male guardian or request permission to live alone. However, the court approved an amendment so that from now on, they can live alone without anyone’s authorization.
According to the Saudi newspaper Makkah, the amendment stipulates that an adult, single, divorced, or widowed woman can live independently without the need for permission from a protector, also known as mahram.
This historic decision will allow millions of women in Saudi Arabia to live autonomously, freely and without fear of being judged and even imprisoned for trying to lead a life without a man by their side.
Originally, the law stipulated that an adult, single, divorced or widowed woman must be under the supervision of her mahram. And now, with this reform, the law under paragraph B of article 169 says that:
An adult woman has the right to decide where to live. A warden can report it only if he has evidence that he has committed a crime.
Despite the Saudi government striving to reform and demonstrate that it is a progressive country, international organizations around the world continue to fight to prove that the country continues to exercise discriminatory and oppressive practices towards women.
According to Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s representative in the Middle East and North Africa, the reality is that many of the people who seek to reform and make Saudi Arabia a progressive country are in jail and were silenced by the government itself.
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