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Saudi Arabian women have limited rights compared with other neighboring countries. For example, a Saudi woman must be accompanied by a male chaperone, called a mahram, when she appears in public, and her male guardian must provide written permission in order for her to travel. According to the article cited below, Saudi women are not welcome to serve in parliament with the exception of a few who serve as advisors, but women do not currently hold the right to vote. The lack of women in political roles is sometimes attributed to a lack of educated women in the field of political science.
On a more intimate level, a women's freedom is largely dependant on the will of her guardian. She receives her education, gains employment, and marries only with the approval of her legal guardian. Currently only about five percent of the workforce in Saudi Arabia is female.
Still, there is hope for Saudi women. Their involvement in civil affairs has increased over the last decade and programs are in place to combat violence against women. Islam promotes financial independence for women and other nations are becoming aware of Saudi Arabia's lack of implementation of this policy.
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