Saudi Arabia, stop treating women as minors!
26 September 2017 UPDATE: Women will finally be able to drive in Saudi Arabia! King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued an order to lift the ban, which was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that forbid women from getting driver's licenses and driving, under the "reasoning" that it would lead to "vice and taboo acts." Full implementation is expected by June 2018.
Help us keep up the fight! Lifting the ban is an important step, but the sex discriminatory male guardianship system remains in full effect. For example, women are still unable to travel without male permission, apply for a passport, or choose when and whom to marry. And the implementation of the May 2017 royal order to give women access to state services, e.g. opening a bank account or filing a lawsuit, remains unclear. These oppressive "personal status" regulations and policies continue to violate women's human rights and prevent them from moving freely in their daily lives. Keep up the pressure so that Saudi women and girls are treated as equals in Saudi society and culture!
Not being able to drive, not being able to study in certain universities or travel abroad without a male guardian’s approval, and still not being able to freely choose when or whom to marry. As Saudi Prince Alawaleed recently noted, "They are all unjust acts, by a traditional society, far more restrictive than what is lawfully allowed by the precepts of religion." This is the plight of Saudi women and girls under the existing male guardianship system – and they are tired of it. Saudi women want their rights, and they are directly petitioning the King for action!
TAKE ACTION! Please support Saudi women by helping us renew the call in our campaign to end the male guardianship system!
Though the government claims that women have the right to make their own decisions about their lives, in reality it’s not true. Despite some positive steps to lessen guardians’ control over women – a law criminalizing domestic violence, 30 women appointed to the Shura Council and allowing women to vote and run as candidates in the municipal council elections – Saudi women and girls are still considered minors under the perpetual control of their male guardians. And that guardian could be their husband, brother, uncle or even a son younger than themselves.
Join us today in calling on the King and Minister of Justice to establish laws that treat women and girls as equals in Saudi society and culture.
Please call on the Saudi government to ensure that the legal and judicial system actually reflects the government’s claim that women are not subject to male guardianship, but rather have the right to make their own decisions about their education, health care, travel, work and other aspects of daily life.
Thank you for your activism!