Saudi step to relax male guardianship rule hailed

Saudi step to relax male guardianship rule hailed

Male guardianship

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The Kingdom has further relaxed the male guardian system. The move to give women more control over their life choices was tentatively welcomed on Friday as another small step for Saudi women in the conservative kingdom.

Local media outlets reported this week that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has issued an order allowing women to benefit from government services such as education and healthcare without getting the consent of a male guardian.

This means women could, in some circumstances, study and access hospital treatment, work in the public and private sector and represent themselves in court without consent of a male guardian, said Maha Akeel, a women’s rights campaigner and a director at Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“Now at least it opens the door for discussion on the guardian system,” Akeel told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Women are independent and can take care of themselves.”

This comes as the latest in a series of moves in Saudi Arabia to include women more in the workforce as the Kingdom moves to diversify its economy and cut reliance on oil.

The trend started in 2011 when the late King Abdullah allowed women onto the government advisory Shoura Council. Women can now vote in municipal elections, work in some retail and hospitality jobs and were allowed to compete in the Olympics for the first time in 2012.

The system of male guardianship, which requires women to obtain permission from a guardian — father, husband, or son — to travel, study or marry is an impediment to realizing women’s rights, claim rights groups.

“Male guardianship is un-Islamic and humiliating for women,” said Akeel. “Some (men) take advantage of this male guardianship for their own benefit and abuse it.”


  1. Education and healthcare are a woman’s right. This is God given right. Since man is the stronger
    that Allah has given a father rights over his daughters and a husband over his wife. Today when
    sexual violence and rape is the rule more than the exception, is it wrong for,a woman to have a
    male guardian on her travels. Again a woman needs the approval of the father to get married.
    At the same time let it be known that a woman can see,meet and even talk to her future husband
    before she gets married. A girl cannot be given in marriage against her wishes. Within the tribal
    society amongst Arabs there are many practices which are unjust and they have nothing to do
    with Islam.islam condemns tribalism.In pre-lslamic times girls were buried alive at birth. With the
    coming of Islam ,women got a very dignified place in society.
    When Allah says men are the protectors of women,it is for all time, no human being can change that.Allah guarantees that believing men and women wil enter Paradise.
    There are several AHADITH ,which clearly show the place of a woman in Islam.
    The Prophet SALLALLAHU ALAIHI wa SALLAM said that the best of men are those who are good to
    their wives and he added that that he was the best of them. Again he said who ever brings up a girl
    according to correct Islamic values , that he and that person will be together in Paradise,showing
    his two fingers,thereby meaning the closeness.
    Men and women can seek knowledge, they can work and own property and their income is THEIRS.
    However rich a women is under no obligation to spend on the family ,unless she does it of her own free will. A woman is able to do everything but within the frame work of Islam,No gender mixing
    and travelling without MAHRAM etc. If anyone tries to tinker with ALLAHS laws let them fear incurring the wrath of Allah,signs of which we are already witnessing in many parts of the world. Everyone is answerable,if we do not at least by word show what is wrong. It is with this intention that I make this comment.I fear none but Allah, who is my RUBB and the one only worthy of worship

    • As salamu alaikum bro.can you give me your Twitter… SubhanALLAH, your speech and arguments are mind blowing.

      • Wa-AlaikumuSalam. I appreciate your comment. Jazakallah.
        Sorry,I am not on Twitter etc.,

    • What if a woman does not want to travel with her maharam? Maybe she wants to go with friends? I would think that a woman who has studied, found a job, is financially independent who be smart enough to know not to travel to somewhere dangerous?? I think your comment “sexual violence and rape is the rule more than the exception” is a bit exaggerated, i am not saying that it does not exist but it is hardly the norm.

      • I am writing about what’s going on in the world of today. Allah the Creator knew about His creations,that is why
        Allah brought about this rule. When Allah orders,we only say: ” We hear and We Obey!”
        You have the freedom in Islam to do what you like, as long as you are prepared to pay the price on YAUM UL Qiyamah (Day of Judgement). I seek refuge in Allah!

  2. Great Step, Inshallah soon Women will have same rights like men, when they will be able to pass their nationalities to their kids and and non Saudi husbands, same like Saudi men in this facility..

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