By mark osborn
Saudi Arabia is touting new relaxed laws for women — including traveling without consent from their husband or male relative, equal pay to men and the ability to open and run independent businesses — as part of “sweeping legal changes to enhance the role of women in society.”
The kingdom has long been one of the most-restrictive for women in the entire world, though Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has attempted to remake the image of the country in recent years as part of an initiative called Vision 2030.
Saudi Arabia announced the changes aimed at women on Friday, led by the lessening of travel restrictions. Women will now be allowed to apply for passports “independently in the same manner that men apply,” according to a release from the government. Women will also be allowed to travel freely, without the permission of a male “guardian,” including internationally.