In the last few years, many reforms have been made for Saudi Arabia women. For example, in 2015, women are allowed to vote even in municipal elections. Thanks to these elections, 17 women were appointed to the Consular Council. In 2016, 4 women represented Saudi Arabia at the Olympics. Now, finally, these women have the right to take a driver’s license and sit behind the wheel.


While this is a major step in the right direction, there are many important decisions that women in Saudi Arabia do not have the right to make on their own. Unfortunately, the rights of women are still neglected, in many aspects of everyday life.

1. Marriage

If a woman wants to marry, she must seek permission from her male guardian. If she wants to marry a foreigner, she must obtain permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

2. Right to a fair trial

Women in this country are still not entitled to a fair trial. Because of this, the testimony of a woman is only half that of a man in the justice system.

3. Important medical treatment

Before receiving any important medical treatment, as an operation that would save her life, a woman must bring a signature from her male relative or parent.

4. Guardianship

If a woman from Saudi Arabia divorces, she gets custody of the child until she turns 7 if she is male, or 9 years old if she is female.

5. Travel

Women usually do not have permission to leave their home without their guardian. They must also not have important travel documents, such as a passport and identity card, without obtaining permission from the guardian.

6. Bank account

Today, women in Saudi Arabia can find jobs in several places. But they have no right to open a bank account. As a result, they do not have control over their financial resources unless they get permission from their guardian.

7. Freedom to dress

In Saudi Arabia it is illegal for women to dress for beauty. They are forced to wear a long anchovy (a gown worn on clothing) when they go out in public.

8. Interaction with men

Women in Saudi Arabia can talk to men who are not related to them for a limited period of time. There are family departments in the public, and they are separated only by men. Women who are in restaurants, universities and the like can only sit in the family departments.

Saudi Arabia continues to discriminate against women and girls. Having obtained the right to a driver’s license does not mean that they have the right to everything else. The Association for the Protection and Defense of Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia tirelessly continues with the campaign for their most basic rights.

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