Saudi women in niqab- CC via Pixabay/rmac8oppo
CAIRO – 29 September 2017: Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Saudi authorities to take a step forward in gender equality and to put an end to the current state of men being in charge of women, following King Salman’s decree Tuesday allowing Saudi women to drive, CNN reported.
HRW said in a statement that Saudi women still face constraints, including the need to have permission from their guardians (fathers or husbands) for obtaining passports, travelling outside the Kingdom or doing a study abroad, or marrying.
They also face many challenges in dealings, as they would not be able to file a lawsuit for example, if their guardians did not approve it or were not available.
“The state of men’s superiority to women is the biggest obstacle women face to gaining their rights,” said Sarah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia issued a decree earlier allowing women to drive cars, ending the conservative Islamic kingdom's status as the only country where that is forbidden. Many think that the decision comes as part of “Vision 2030” reforms announced in 2016.