“While there have been major gains for Saudi women in the past decades due to campaigns by women themselves and reforms implemented by the late King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia remains the most gender-segregated nation in the world. The discriminatory male guardianship system persists despite government pledges to abolish it. Under this system, a woman, no matter her age, is treated as a minor and must live under the supervision of a wali, or guardian. This is a legally recognized male — her father, husband, uncle, or some other male relative (even her son) — who must grant formal permission for most of the significant issues affecting her life. Some refer to this system as a form of gender apartheid.”

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