Guardianship system marginally relaxed in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued an order to all government agencies that women should not be denied access to government services on the ground of lack of a male guardian’s consent. While this order provides some respite from the restrictive guardianship system for women in Saudi Arabia, it appears to keep in place regulations that explicitly require a guardian’s approval, such as obtaining a passport, travelling abroad, or getting married. It also does not address areas where private entities seek a guardian’s consent before providing employment or medical services to women.