Saudi Arabia allows women to open their own businesses without male constent

Saudi Arabia has allowed women to open their own businesses and benefit from government e-services without having to prove consent from husband or male guardian. This move marks major step away from country’s strict guardianship system that has ruled it for decades. The expansion of female employment is under Saudi Arabia’s new reform plan for a post-oil era.

Key Facts

Earlier, under guardianship system, women were required to present proof of permission from husband, male guardian, father or brother, to do any government paperwork, travel or enrol in classes. Waiver of this requirement is a significant move on part of Saudi government’s initiative to create gender-neutral society.

The development is also in line with Saudi Arabia’s effort to expand its fast-growing private sector. It is also in line with it move to expand its private sector in order to reduce long dependent on crude oil production for economic revenue.

Background

Oil rich Saudi Arabia is witnessing series of new progressive reforms since Mohammed Bin Salman (32) was appointed as the Crown Prince in June 2017. Under his leadership, oil-rich kingdom is undergoing an economic reform to reduce its dependency on oil and make country more liberal and modern economy.

The prince had pledged ‘moderate and open’ Saudi Arabia in October 2017, breaking with decades old ultra-conservative rule for catering needs of foreign investors and appease Saudi youth. Prince is also chief architect behind Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ reform programme, which seeks to elevate percentage of women in workforce from 22% to nearly one-third.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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