Thousands in Saudi Arabia have signed an online petition to end the government enforced male guardianship of women. This is a law that requires women to get the permission of male guardian before they can take part in basic task such as accepting a job, going to school, traveling and getting married. Citizens being outraged over this ruling is nothing new, in fact they have been fighting against it for nearly a decade now.
While some woman in Saudi Arabia are okay with this way of life, a bulk of them just want to be treated as real citizens and not a possession. This has also become an issue for some men. Men who don’t want to deal with the pressure of being anyone’s guardian and who just want to live normal lives.
In some extreme case, women even need to have permission to get healthcare if their sick. If a woman happens to be imprisoned she cannot be released until her family permits her to be. Think about how scary that is for a second.
Just who is the guardian of these women? In most cases that responsibility falls on either a husband or father. If a woman is a widow her son would usually take up the role of her guardian.
In the days leading up to the report over two thousand women sent telegrams to the Saudi King’s office demanding he put an end to guardianship system. After heavy promotion on twitter, the petition garnered over fourteen thousand signatures. As for now we can only wait and see what will become of these signatures and if they’ll bring on any serious change.
The Saudi government has made promises of abolishing the guardian system back in 2009 and 2013. Unfortunately the word was never kept, though a little credit must be given to them as they have made employment for women easier to obtain. Sadly, when human lives are being shuffled around like property, that is not even close to enough.