In a landmark policy change for Saudi Arabia, the famously conservative country will now allow women over the age of 21 to apply for a passport without male authorization and travel abroad without a male guardian.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has taken steps to relax prohibitions on women, including the ability to register births, marriages, and divorces, and be the legal guardian of minors. Previously, the male guardianship system required that women obtained permission from their guardian — a husband, father, or other male relative — to travel, get a passport, undergo certain medical procedures, and get a job.
According to The New York Times, the new regulations also cover employment, outlawing discrimination of workers based on gender, disability, or age.
It was only one year ago, in June 2018, that women in Saudi Arabiawere granted the right to drive.