In recent years, many things have changed for the better for women in Saudi Arabia.

Now, in a recent court ruling in the Kingdom, it has been stated: “an adult, rational woman living independently is not a crime”.

Prior to this ruling, the parents of a woman who had disappeared or was living along without gaining permission from their guardians would be able to file a report with the police, according to Gulf News. It was known as the ‘absenteeism’ law.

However, the latest ruling that women can live independently could drastically improve gender equality in Saudi Arabia, has been hailed has “historical” by lawyer Abdul Rahman Al Lahim.


“A historic ruling was issued on Wednesday, affirming that independence of a sane, adult woman in a separate house is not a crime worthy of punishment,” the lawyer said on Twitter. “I am very happy with this ruling that ends tragic stories for women.”

Many things have changed for women in the last few years in the Kingdom, since Mohammed bin Salman was appointed Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in 2017.

Under his Vision 2030 initiative, an ambitious post-oil economic plan, there has been a major focus on women’s rights in the Kingdom.

Just three months after he stepped into the role in 2017, the Crown Prince revealed in a royal decree, women would be able to secure driving licenses from June 2018.

Then, in March 2018, it was announced by the Ministry of Justice that women who are divorced in the country would be able to instantly retain custody of their children.

Under his plans, women are now also able to attend sports events in stadiums in three cities, female students in the Kingdom are now allowed to carry their phones while on campus and as of August 2019, women aged over 21 are now allowed to travel independently.

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Feature Image: Getty