Mahram law heaps frustration on women

By MARIAM NIHAL | ARAB NEWS

JEDDAH: Saudi and foreign women in the Kingdom who wish to travel abroad often feel the heat of severe traveling regulations.

Saudi laws dictate that women cannot travel without their mahram’s (male guardian) permission and in some cases can only tour with them.

GCC countries have different laws for Saudi women who can travel within the GCC without visa formalities or paperwork. However non-Saudi women are further restricted by what they deem as the “mahram commandment.”

Women have expressed major concern and empathy for those who cannot travel due to these stringent laws or because their mahram is not able to accommodate their travel plans.

Maya Hussein, a Canadian living in Jeddah, traveled to Abu Dhabi for work purposes, hoping to claim her visa upon arrival. However, she was given a choice between spending a night in prison or returning to Jeddah on the same flight.

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