Gender equality is certainly a hot topic across the world today. Every day, advocates of feminism are doing what they can to help women enjoy equal opportunities in various aspects of the society. Modern women simply refuse to be regarded as the “weaker sex”.
Despite all the growing awareness about women’s rights, it is still an unfortunate fact that there are still some countries out there where females are deprived with even the most basic of privileges.
Take the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for example.
Sure, we may already be living in modern times but some long-standing customs and traditions in the country continue to be upheld today. Listed below are 8 things that women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to do unless they get permission from men.
#1. Get married.
If a woman decides to marry, her first step is to seek permission from her male guardian (also known as ‘wali’). Things could even get more complicated if the groom-to-be is a foreigner. In that case, permission from the ministry of interior has to be obtained as well.
#2. Receive a fair trial.
It might sound shocking to some but, yes, women in Saudi Arabia still are not able to enjoy a fair trial. Apparently, a woman’s testimony is only considered half the worth of a man’s testimony in court.
#3. Seek important medical treatment.
When going for a major, life-saving operation or any other important medical treatment, a woman has to get a written signature from a male relative.
#4. Have full custody of their children.
If a woman gets a divorce, they can only have custody of their children until they reach the ages of 7 (for boys) and 9 (for girls).
Yes, women are not permitted to travel without seeking permission from their male guardian. The same can also be said about getting passports, identification cards, and other travel-related documents.
#6. Create their own bank account.
Want to open your own bank account? Again, you need permission from a wali if you are a woman in Saudi Arabia.
#7. To dress for beauty
Women always have to dress in abayas whenever they are in public. This traditional long coat is worn over clothes because as a report tells us, “it is illegal for women in Saudi Arabia to dress for beauty.”
#8. Talk with men.
Interaction with men who are unrelated to them is extremely limited for the ladies. In public places, there are even designated ‘family’ sections and ‘men-only’ sections. Women are only allowed to stay in ‘family’ sections.
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