Saudi Arabian King Salman's recent decision to grant women more rights -- which has been discouraged for decades in this most conservative of all Islamic nations -- won praise in some quarters and grumbles of discontent in others, the VOA News website reports today (May 12, 2017).
The royal decree permits women to make a certain number of decisions without the permission of a male guardian.
Legal adviser Hassa al Duleimi told state TV the decision was based on a complaint over equality of the sexes in obtaining services from the government.
She said Saudi women will now be able to obtain various government services, including the right to enroll in a university, the right to open a bank account, and the right to leave prison after finishing a sentence without the agreement of a male guardian. However, requesting a passport, traveling abroad, or getting married will still require a woman to have the permission of a male family member.