Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Saudi Man Opposing Male Guardian Law Jailed; Guilty of Inciting to End Guardianship of Women

A Saudi Arabian man has been sentenced to a year in jail for his activism against the kingdom's law that requires all women to have a male guardian, the Clarion Project website reports today (December 28, 2016).

The man -- who who was also fined 30,000 riyals ($8,000) -- was convicted of "inciting to end guardianship of women."

Authorities arrested the man while he was putting up posters in mosques calling for an end to the law. (A woman's guardian in most predominantly Islamic countries is usually her father and then, after marriage, her husband. However, if she is a widow, her "guardian" may be her son.)

The male guardianship law requires a woman to receive permission of her guardian to travel, marry, get an education and, in many cases, accept employment and have access to healthcare. The law also requires that a woman who has finished a prison term obtain the permission of her male guardian to leave, meaning that many women end up languishing in prison because their guardians refuse to sign for their release.

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