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New advances for women's rights in Saudi Arabia to qualify

2019-08-02T19:00:31.095Z

Even though they already had the right to drive, to practice certain jobs initially reserved for men and to go see football games since last year, the Saudi women will now be able to obtain a passport without the agreement of a...


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Activist Loujain al-Hathloul is still imprisoned despite improving women's rights in Saudi Arabia for more than a year. Marieke Wijntjes

Even though they already had the right to drive, to practice certain jobs initially reserved for men and to go see football games since last year, the Saudi women will now be able to obtain a passport without the agreement of a male guardian.

The authorities have decided that anyone aged 21 or over, male or female, will have the right to obtain a passport . Saudi women have also obtained parental authority over their children and the right to declare a birth, a marriage and a divorce.

It is therefore a considerable relaxation of the system of tutors, even if it still governs much of the lives of Saudi women. They still do not have the right to live alone or to leave prison cells without the consent of their brother, father or husband.

Muted dissident voices

Despite these reforms, eleven Saudi activists are currently on trial. They had just publicly criticized the famous system of male guardians. The most emblematic of these activists, Loujaïn Al-Hathloul , has just sadly celebrated his thirtieth birthday in prison. With other inmates, she claims to have been tortured and sexually harassed.

In addition, several women have fled the kingdom in recent months, such as Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun , an 18-year-old Saudi woman, who was arrested at Bangkok airport after falsifying her " guardian ". She has since found refuge in Canada.

These women fleeing Saudi Arabia and imprisoned highlight the dual speech of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: he liberalizes the mores while muzzling the dissenting voices.

►To listen too: Big Report - Saudi Arabia at the pace of Mohammed ben Salman

Source: rfi

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