Imagine that you could not travel or go to school without your dad’s permission. You need him, your brother, or a male driver to take you anywhere you want to go in a car. He even has a say in who you get to marry.
This is life under Saudi Arabia‘s guardianship law — a combination of the legal code and religious doctrine within the kingdom. Men have guardianship over the unmarried women in their families, which usually means a father is guardian to his daughter (but in his absence, a son or uncle can fill in). When a woman marries, the guardianship switches over to her husband. Even when Saudi women are no longer minors, they are still treated like children in the eyes of the law.
One woman is trying to change all that: a 43-old-old doctor, going by the pseudonym “Samia” in press reports, is challenging her father’s guardianship in the Saudi Supreme Court. Keep reading »