What rights do women in Saudi Arabia have and not have?

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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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What are some of the rights that women in Saudi Arabia have and do not have? Please explain in detail. Thank you very much!

Women have few rights in Saudi Arabia. They have to obey their husbands. The husbands have control over children, even if the wife leaves. Domestic violence is common and expected.
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What are some of the rights that women in Saudi Arabia have and do not have? Please explain in detail. Thank you very much!

Women's rights in Saudi Arabia are still among the most restrictive in the world.

  • An abaya (or abayah), a loose robe (usually black) that covers the body from head to toe, is still required to be worn in public. Only faces are allowed to be visible.
  • Women of all ages are required to have a male guardian.
  • Women are not allowed to vote or hold high political office.
  • Saudi Arabia ranks 129th out of 134 countries for gender parity.
  • Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world to score a zero for women's political empowerment.
  • Women athletes are rare and their sports participation is limited to being outside the presence of men.
  • Women are segregated in public.
  • Most public buildings have separate entrances for women.
  • Public transportation is segregated.
  • Public restaurants, beaches, parks and other amusement areas are segregated.
  • Private homes are required to have "curtains" to separate a women's area.
  • Women are only allowed to have jobs if approved by their male guardians. Home duties may not be neglected by a working woman.
  • All public schools are sex-segregated.
  • Women are not allowed to leave their house or neighborhood with permission of their male guardian.
  • Women are only allowed to drive cars in rural areas.
  • It is illegal for women to hire taxis or private drivers.
  • Women are not allowed to specifically choose a husband. Marriage contracts are binding and decided between the father of the bride and the husband-to-be.
  • Children are "owned" by the father; the woman has little chance for custody in the case of divorce.

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