Saudi Arabia says it will soon permit all citizens age 21 and older – including women – to travel by choice and independently.
The changes are part of a set of new laws published Friday. They are set to go into effect later this month. They end a long-standing guardianship policy that had restricted women's freedom of movement.
The country's legal system treats adult women as minors. It requires women to seek permission from male relatives to do many things, including traveling. A woman's guardian might be her father, husband or even her own son.
The new rules, approved by King Salman and his cabinet, also permit any adult citizen to apply for a Saudi passport on their own. Women had needed male permission to do so.
Many Saudis celebrated the changes. Some published memes showing people running to the airport with their belongings. Others praised Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman, who is believed to be the force behind the new laws.
But more conservative Saudis criticized the changes. On social media, they shared already published videos of top Saudi leaders arguing in favor of guardianship laws.
Other changes published Friday permit women to register a marriage or its ending, and a child's birth. The new rules also protect women from discrimination in the workplace and give them the right to open and run a business.
There are still rules in place that require a male relative's permission for a woman to leave prison, leave a domestic abuse shelter or marry. Women, unlike men, still cannot pass on their citizenship to their children and cannot give permission for their children to marry.
For years, state-supported religious leaders told the Saudi public that women should not travel for more than one night alone. They argued this was a traditional Islamic rule.
Other Muslim countries, however, do not have similar restrictions on women's travel. Saudi leaders have said the Islamic holy book states that men are the protectors and keepers of women.
Other Islamic experts argue this ignores important Islamic ideas such as equality and respect between the sexes.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1. by choice 自主选择
When he is 25, he is with you only by choice.
2. go into effect 生效
Then an enforcement measure known as a trigger would go into effect.
此次变化是周五发布的一套新法律的部分内容 。这套新法律计划本月末生效 。这套新法律终结了一项长期的监护政策，该政策限制了女性的行动自由 。
沙特的法律体系将成年女性视为未成年人，要求女性在做许多事情之前要得到男性亲属的批准，包括出行也不例外 。女性的监护人可能是父亲、丈夫或者甚至是自己的儿子 。
这套新法律由国王萨勒曼及其内阁批准通过，该法还允许任何成年公民自行申请沙特护照 。女性之前一直需要男性的许可才能申请护照 。
许多沙特人庆祝了这一变化的到来 。一些人发了表情包，表情包里有人带着行李跑到机场 。还有一些人赞扬王储萨勒曼，外界认为萨勒曼是主推新法律的幕后功臣 。
但更多观念保守的沙特人则批评了这一变化 。在社交媒体上，这些批评者已经分享了沙特高层领导人的视频，视频中，多位领导人表示支持监护政策 。
周五还发布了其他一些变化——允许女性登记结婚、离婚或新生儿出生 。新法律还保护女性在工作场所不受歧视，给女性做买卖的权利 。
目前还有一些法律要求女性在出狱、离开家庭虐待避难所或结婚时需要获得男性亲属的批准 。女性跟男性不一样，依然不能将公民身份传给子女，也不能批准子女结婚 。
多年来，由国家支持的多位宗教领袖都对沙特公众表示，女性出行时间不应该超过一晚上 。他们认为这是伊斯兰的传统规矩 。
Ashley Thompson为您播报 。