Saudi Arabia is known for being a patriarchal society where women need supervision or consent from a male guardian before they can do simple tasks like driving, getting medication or going to work. However, the king of Saudi Arabia has issued a new rule that would give women more control with regards to their choices in life.
According to Khaleej Times, a decision was made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, that women are no longer required to get permission if they attain services that are beneficial to them. The royal decree was also imposed on all concerned government agencies following its approval for the purpose of resolving human rights issues.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation public information and communication director Maha Akeel said, "This male guardianship has always been an obstacle to women and demeaning because unfortunately, some guardians abused their authority over women and took advantage." The move is a small step but a meaningful one for the conservative country where women can finally manage their own official matters without consent.
The Daily Mail reported that the new rule allows women to get an education, medical treatment, a job or even go to court and represent themselves. However, the new rule didn't state the details about other circumstances when the women should or shouldn't get permission from their guardians with regard to getting services provided to them.
The decision is influenced by the country's move to promote diversity and widen its options to economic growth since it plans to reduce its reliance on oil. For the last five years, more women have been appointed to top positions in the society. In fact, Saudi Arabia plans to increase the female workforce from 22 percent to 30 percent.