Women of the East have risen on the oil crisis
In Saudi Arabia, women no longer need to obtain permission from a male guardian to access public services. The decree on this was issued this week by king Salman bin Abdul-Aziz.
According to local media, the innovation will allow women to independently obtain access to jobs, higher education, health care and other services with one caveat — “if such a request (requirements) there is no legal basis in the Shariah”.
The formal ban on women’s access to services was not before. But public institutions have often demanded from requesting special permission. The country’s Supreme court has ordered to revise relevant procedures, as well as a clear list of services for which permission will still be required.
According to Saudi law, every woman must be a male guardian. Usually it is a husband, father or other close relative. Without his permission a woman may not marry or, for example, to travel abroad. In social networks some time passed and the action with the hashtag #IamMyOwnGuardian (“I am my own guardian”), in which they demanded the abolition of the system of guardianship.
In September of last year, the government had filed a petition, signed by more than 15 thousand Saudi women. They also demanded the abolition of this rule. In 2008 and 2013 for cancellation has urged Saudi Arabia to the UN. After this, some restrictions on work for women have been relaxed. But the system of guardianship has been preserved.
As noted in connection with the present decree is communications Director of the organization of Islamic cooperation Maha Akil, “the guarantee has always been a hindrance to women, and degrading practices because some guardians have abused their power”. According to her, the changes in fact recognize the right of women to be his own guardian and independently to solve official questions.
I agree with this and Suhail, Zain al-Abidin of the Saudi National society for human rights. She stated that the new law will give women the opportunity to represent themselves in court, to travel abroad or get a passport. Although it is unclear what services will still require the permission of a guardian. The complete abolition of the system of guardianship the speech does not go yet.
Observers have increasingly noted changes in the status of women in Saudi Arabia. They connect them with the reforms that began in connection to a sharp increase in the budget deficit because of falling oil prices.
The economic program “the Vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: 2030”, adopted in April 2016, aims to increase the percentage of women with 22% to 30%. Now there are only 1.9 million of the 13.1 million Saudi women. Thus, according to the Saudi Chief statistics Department, 80.6% of all formal job seekers in the country were women.
Further evidence of gradual changes in the status of women in Saudi Arabia — several recent appointments. In February the General Director of one of the largest financial corporations of the country, Samba Financial Group, a woman was appointed — Rania Mahmoud Nashar. A few days before that as the head of the Saudi stock exchange was appointed Sarah al-Suhaimi. Prior to that, she worked for several years Director General of the Saudi National commercial Bank.
In 2013, for the first time women were able to join the Majlis ash-Shura (consultative Council). Currently, the proportion of women in the Council has reached 20%.
However, many restrictions on women, both formal and informal, in Saudi Arabia continue. One of the most criticized rules — a ban on driving. The limitation is compounded by the fact that public transport in Saudi Arabia is rather poorly developed. In this regard, very popular among Saudi women use the services of a taxi such as Uber or Careem local analog. Women make up about 80% of their users.