More great news for Saudi Arabian women as the country announces new amendments to Travel Documents Regulation. According to various news sources, the Kingdom has now exempted three categories of Saudi citizens under the age of 21 from needing permission from guardians to travel, and according to Gulf News, Saudi mothers will also be able to apply for passports for children in their custody and approve their travel abroad. This follows an earlier announcement this month that Saudi Arabian women can now apply for and obtain a passport without requiring the approval of a male relative.
As reported by Saudi Gazette, the three categories of citizens to benefit from the new amendments include: foreign scholarship students, employees taking part in official trips abroad with a letter of consent from the employer, and those who are married. The changes, which are reportedly detailed on the website of Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports, highlight how major policy changes pertaining to the freedom to travel for women in the Kingdom will work in practice.
These travel-specific amendments and others are part of a sweeping wave of reforms that has taken over Saudi Arabia recently, hailed as part of the nation’s larger efforts to empower its women, providing them with increased mobility and independence to lead, participate in the country’s social and economic advancement, and pursue their own visions. They come under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman who has particularly been a vocal and avid advocator of women’s rights in the Kingdom, loosening a number of restrictions on women such as on their movements, the way they dress, and access to work opportunities.