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August 2, 2019

Saudi Arabia to lift travel restrictions on its women

Agencies

Riyadh, Aug 2: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would be enacting amendments which would grant its women the right to apply for passports and travel independently, said Reema Bandar Al-Saud, the country's Ambassador to the United States on Friday.

"I am elated to confirm that KSA will be enacting amendments to its labour and civil laws that are designed to elevate the status of Saudi women within our society, including granting them the right to apply for passports and travel independently," she tweeted.

"These developments have been a long time coming. From the inclusion of women in the consultative council to issuing driving licenses to women, our leadership has proved its unequivocal commitment to gender equality," she said.

Al-Saud labelled the new regulations as "history in the making," adding that it is a "holistic approach" to gender equality that will "unquestionably create real change for Saudi women."

"Women have always played an integral role in our country's development, and they will continue to do so moving forward on equal footing with their male counterparts," the Ambassador stated.

The lifting of restrictions comes after several Saudi women attempted to escape from their country, according to Al Jazeera. The latest case was that of Saudi teenager, Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, who was granted asylum in Canada.

The reform -- if implemented -- would end the guardianship system, which views adult women as legal minors, allowing their male guardians like their father or husband to exercise authority over them, as per the Qatari news outlet.

Saudi Arabia to lift travel restrictions on its women

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