King Salman of Saudi Arabia has issued an order to marginally loosen some of the kingdom’s notorious guardianship laws, which require women to have a “male guardian’s permission” for basic everyday activities such as travel, education, seeing a doctor or filing a complaint with the police. Under the new rules, women will be allowed to access government services such as health care and education without a guardian. “Now at least it opens the door for discussion on the guardian system,” said Maha Akeel, a women’s rights campaigner and director of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. “Women are independent and can take care of themselves.” After years of protests by feminist activists, these new rules might be a first step toward bringing an end to Saudi Arabia’s status as the most gender-segregated country in the world.
Read the full story at Metro.