Mahram clause for women to study abroad may end: Official

Saudi Cultural Attache in Washington, Mohammed Al-Issa

Saudi Gazette report

The Saudi Cultural Attache in Washington, Mohammed Al-Issa hinted at the possibility that Saudi women students may not need any male mahram (guardian) to study abroad.

"We may soon receive instructions from the Ministry of Education to cancel the condition of a male mahram for Saudi female students wishing to study abroad," he told Makkah daily on Tuesday.

He said the cultural attache office will not act on it own before receiving clear instructions from the ministry to exempt female students from this pre-requisite.

Al-Issa said, regardless, the cultural attache office was exempting some female students from this condition in consideration of their own personal circumstances.

"The women who pursue their higher studies abroad are mature enough and can bear their own responsibility without the need of a male guardian to be with them," he said.

The cultural attache said, once it is announced, the decision will solve many problems preventing Saudi women from studying at renowned universities.

"Some women students got married only to have a male mahram to accompany them to the countries of their study," he said.

Al-Issa, on the other hand, said the application for the scholarship program will start after the Haj.