A report out of Saudi Arabia published new laws early Friday that will have fewer restrictions on women traveling freely. Currently, Saudi women must get consent from a male such as her father, brother or son to travel on buses, trains and airplanes for long distances. The legal system has long been criticized because it treated women like minors throughout their adult lives, requiring they have a man with them or consent from male family members. The changes were widely celebrated by Saudis on Twitter, including posting memes showing people dashing to airports with luggage and others hailing the 33-year-old Prince believed to be behind the forces to make change. Still in place, however, are the rules that require male consent for a woman to leave prison, exit a domestic abuse shelter or marry. Still, there are women only prisons in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries in the Middle East that act as shelters for women to protect them from honor killings that are enacted by her father, brothers or male cousins. This is a result of women carrying family honor on their shoulders, and if they have relations with a man before marriage, an honor killing can be the result.
Saudi Arabia Changes to Allow Women to Travel Without Male Consent
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