In a historic decision, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allowed single, widowed, and divorced women to stay independently without the prior approval of their father or male guardian.
As per reports, ‘adult and rationale’ women can now stay in a separate accommodation without seeking permission of the father or other male guardians. The judicial authorities in the Gulf nation have removed Paragraph B of Article 169 of the “Law of Procedure before Sharia Courts.” A new text has instead been inserted, which states, “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.”
It must be mentioned that the Courts earlier would prioritise cases filed under the ‘absenteeism law’ by parents against daughters for living independently without prior permission. However, courts will no longer entertain such cases. The historic decision comes at the backdrop of a 2017 lawsuit fought by 32-year-old writer Mariam Al Otaibi. She fought her case for 3 years after her parents filed a report for living and travelling alone without their permission.
She won the case in July last year and the court ordered that she has the right to choose where she wanted to live. Otaibi had fled her home in Ar Rass and moved to Riyadh following the abusive behaviour of her father and brothers.
Pakistanis miffed by the decision of Saudi Arabia
While the Saudi Arabia women were elated, Pakistani men were irked by the decision. One Muhammad Umair Shahab wrote, “Following the West will bring KSA a very shameful end as the US faced in Afghanistan. What I predict is that the Hijaz (Makkah and Madina) will get into Turkish hand back again IA. They are somehow more in defending Islam and its propagation.”
Another Pakistani, Faseeh Khan remarked, “The destruction of KSA made its debut in the debauch and libertarianism. I wish they’d be ashamed of themselves.” One Da Khan Zwey said, “The decline commences now in there. Let’s wait for the consequences.”
One Muhammad Saad wrote, “Their decline is on…Everyone should have his/her personality and way of perception so, the presence remains… Now they are following the tradition and culture of the West and they will lose their existence. Because following others may kill your own choice of an idea. One should lead others, not by others.”
One Pakistani claimed, “If Saddam Hussain (Iraqi dictator) was alive, there’s not happening like this!” Another Facebook user wrote, “Kingdom is on the wrong direction.”
“Decline is imminent,” wrote one Shakaib Haider.
One Sumbal Tausif Qureshi remarked, “This is what follows when you recognise Israel.” Another Pakistani alleged, “Saudi is on the way to be in the good books of the West and America. But it must remember that their friendship is not disposable.”