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///   Saudi Arabia: Women can open business without male permission

par Sami Bouzid le
Women in Saudi Arabia can now open their own business without the permission of male guardian announced on Sunday the Ministry of Commerce and investment.

Representational image. 

The move comes in the wake of women empowerment. After getting the right to drive, women can now start a business without guardian permission. It marks a big step in loosening up the strict guardianship system. Indeed, until now women were required to present a permission from a male if they wanted to start businesses. The male could be husband, father or brother, it does not matter as long as it's a male.

"Women can now launch their own businesses and benefit from e-services without having to prove consent from a guardian" said the Ministry on its website. As a sign of modernization, the spokesman of the Ministry said via Twitter  "No need for a guardian's position. Saudi women are free to start their own businesses freely"  following the hashtag #No_Need.

Since a few months, the Saudi government has started to give more independence to women in various fields. As an example, the permit to drive, travel to the country without a companion, or simply attend a match at a football stadium. Earlier in January, the public prosecutor's office said to began recruiting women investigators for the first time. Saudi Arabia also opened 140 positions at airports and border crossing, especially for women.

The drive for modernization and liberalization is largely attributed to the new crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. The 32-year-old prince pledged a "moderate, open" Saudi Arabia, breaking with conservative clerics in hope of an image catering to attract foreign investors.

The prince is considered as the architect behind Saudi Arabia's "Vision 2030" reform. The programme aims to elevate the percentage of women in the workforce to 30% of the population to prepare an economy no longer pinned to oil.

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