Saudi Arabia, which is an Arab sovereign state in Western Asia and constitutes the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula was recently in the headlines across the world after they relaxed their ban and allowed women to get behind the wheel. Till some time ago Saudi Arabia was the only place where women were not allowed to drive.
While there has been promise of several reforms for Saudi women, so far just a handful of the decisions have been given to the women living there. However, there are a bundle bans which are still being forced upon the women.
Apart from being allowed to drive cars now, there are a number of bans that have been relaxed. Of the few bans that have been removed one includes women not having to seek the nod from their guardian to go out and work.
After being banned from even entering sports arenas, the Saudi women have now been allowed to enter stadiums but only on Saudi National Day. During get-togethers they are allowed to be seated only in the family section, away from single men. Earlier, women were also kept away from sports and physical education activities in school. However, this year the government relaxed this rule and allowed girls in public schools to participate in sports and sporting events including having access to physical education.
At a time when almost every woman in Saudi Arabia is celebrating being allowed to drive, there are still a plethora of bans being faced by them. Here are a few bans that still exist:
1) In case if they get divorced, the women are allowed to keep their children only till their wards reach the age of 7 (for boys) and 9 (for girls).
2) Saudi women are not allowed to marry and divorce till they have permission from their male guardians. In Saudi families the first say is always that of the male of the family.
3) Saudi women are also not allowed to get a passport until they get an approval from their male guardian.
4) In case of a medical emergency, the permission from their male guardian is necessary as women are not allowed to take decisions of their own.
5) Women are barred from socialising with men who are from outside their immediate family. In order to make sure this doesn’t happen, all the restaurants and outing place have maintained only 2 sections, one for the men where women cannot enter and the other for families.
6) Saudi Arabia cannot receive an equal inheritance. Under Sharia inheritance laws, daughters receive half what is awarded to their brothers.
7) The women in Saudi cannot even start a business of her own, until 2 male members testify about her character before she can be granted a loan or a license.