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A Woman In Saudi Arabia Was Allowed To Live And Travel Independently. It Is A Big Deal. Here’s Why

July 16, 2020 | by Mansi Shah
FI Woman Allowed To Live Alone In Saudi

If you’re a woman who has ever lived on her own in India, you know it’s ridiculous how tough it is to get things done. From getting your own place – which is a struggle because what if guys come over? And if they do, then clearly your chastity is your landlord’s problem and they must ensure that you’re a virginal nymph. If you do manage to get a house, then getting people to do jobs around the house would require a male because are you sure you know how to work a geyser or how to get an AC repaired? Yeah, it isn’t easy living alone.

But imagine not having that choice. At Hauterfly, we write about every progressive decision that happens in Saudi Arabia because it has taken such a long time for even basic rights to be granted. It was only recently that women were allowed to drive. And it’s not because women in Saudi Arabia couldn’t figure out gears, it’s simply because the men didn’t want them to have any rights or agency over their own lives. So when we recently read about a woman being allowed to stay independently, we wanted to write about it because a court ruled in their favour. This means many things, but most importantly, it means that while women have always wanted to have rights, the men who made the rules might be willing to give them those.

A lawyer in the case said. “A historic ruling was issued on Wednesday, affirming that independence of a sane, adult woman in a separate house is not a crime worthy of punishment,” al-Lahim said in a tweet. “I am very happy with this ruling that ends tragic stories for women.”

The woman being talked about in this case, later revealed who she was on Twitter in a response to comments made by al-Lahim.

“After long-suffering that has lasted since 2017, I managed today, along with the court hero Mr. Abdulrahman al-Lahim, to take back my freedom of movement, guaranteed by the Saudi constitution, which states that every citizen has freedom of movement and stability,” Meriam al-Eteebe, the defendant, said in a tweet, reported CGTN Africa. 

She also said that her experience was “not easy but worth it.”

While this might not mean much to us, for women who have been oppressed forever, this shows the government and the state’s decision to be more progressive and while equal rights are still a distant dream, this might just be a step in the right direction.


Mansi Shah

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