The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has begun implementation of new laws and regulations- approved recently by the Council of Ministers-enhancing the statues of women in the Country.
In the form of amendments to existing laws, the new regulations remove restrictions on women's travel, recognize their status as head of households, and ensure their equitable access to employment opportunities, pay, maternity leave, and retirement, among other social and economic rights.
With respect to women's mobility, the new regulations grant women 21 years of age and older the right to apply for passports for themselves and for their legal dependents, and to travel without the need for prior approval.
Recognized as heads of households in the new regulations, women are granted equal rights to undertake many family-related civil registry functions, including registration of marriage, divorce, childbirth, death, and selection of place of residence.
With respect to the economic rights, the new reforms grant women equal right in employment, pay, recruitment, and retirement, and ban any form of discrimination.
The Government has moved swiftly to implement the new regulations, and has deployed all its resources, including its digital platforms, to ensure that women begin enjoying their new rights and obligations immediately.
As they get implemented, the recent reforms are already positively transforming the lives of women in the Kingdom. These reforms build on a succession of powerful and bold Vision 2030 initiatives, including allowing women to drive, adopting an anti-harassment law, enabling women to start and manage a business, and opening opportunities for women to occupy leadership positions in both the private and public sectors.