Saudi Arabia has allowed single women to live alone without permission from their father or male guardian.
The new law will allow single, divorced or widowed women to live independently without seeking anyone’s permission, according to the newspaper Makkah.
The move comes after Saudi Arabia passed a legal amendment that allowed an adult woman to live by herself without needing permission from her father or any other male guardian.
Makkah said the judicial authorities ditched Paragraph B under article 169 of the Law of Procedure before Sharia Courts that stated that an adult single, divorced, or widowed woman should be referred to her male guardian.
The amendment now says that “an adult woman has the right to choose where to live. A woman’s guardian can report her only if he has evidence proving she committed a crime”.
The text adds: “If a woman is sentenced to a prison term, she will not be handed over to her guardian after completing her term.”
Lawyer Naif Al Mansi said: “Families can no longer file lawsuits against their daughters who choose to live alone.”
He added that the courts will no longer be accepting such cases after they were given priority before.
Saudi writer Mariam Al Otaibi, 32, ended a three-year legal battle with her family when she won a historic ruling in July 2020.
She stood trial for living and travelling alone without her father’s permission under the country’s ‘absenteeism’ law, and the court ruled that she had “the right to choose where to live”.
Under the previous ‘absenteeism’ law, parents could report their daughters for leaving the family home or living alone without getting prior permission from their male guardian.