Treating women as grownups
Two items from today's Gulf News.
Women in Saudi Arabia can now stay in a hotel or a furnished apartment without a male guardian according to a decision by the Ministry of Trade, the local newspapers reported on Monday.
The Al Watan daily said the ministry issued a circular to the hotels asking them to accept women in their rooms even if they were alone provided that all their information were immediately sent to a police station in the area.
The royal family has previously baulked at granting women driving permits, claiming the step did not have full public support. The driving ban dates back to the establishment of the state in 1932, although recently the government line has weakened.The emphasis is mine.
“There has been a decision to move on this by the Royal Court because it is recognised that if girls have been in schools since the 1960s, they have a capability to function behind the wheel when they grow up,” a government official said. “We will make an announcement soon.”
The move is designed to forestall protests for greater freedom by women, which have recently included campaigners driving cars through the kingdom in defiance of a threat of detention and loss of livelihoods.