Posts

24-Hour Curfew In Saudi Arabia Cities Announced

A curfew is a government order specifying a time during which certain regulations apply. Typically, curfews order all peoples affected by them to not be in public places or on roads within a certain time frame, typically in the evening and night-time hours.

Saudi authorities imposed a 24-hour curfew in most Saudi cities, the capital Riyadh as well as in Jeddah, Dammam, Al-Khobar, Tabuk, Dhahran, Al-Hofuf, Ta’if, Al-Qatif.

Saudi Arabia has 4 cities with more than a million people, 20 cities with between 100000 and 1 million people, and 45 cities with between 10000 and 100000 people.

Restrictions Overview:

  • Residents can only leave their homes to get essential needs within their neighbourhoods between 6am and 3pm;
  • Only two passengers, including the driver, may be allowed inside vehicles;
  • Travel between cities is prohibited.

The curfew decision excludes essential workers in public and private sectors such as medical facilities and pharmacies, grocery stores, gas and oil stations, banking services and maintenance and operation, plumbing, electrical and air conditioning technicians and water delivery services and sewage tanks.

Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country on the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia.

It has a land area of about 2,150,000 km, making it the fifth-largest country in Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world, and the largest in Western Asia.

Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia

Women’s rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls worldwide. They formed the basis for the women’s rights movement in the 19th century and the feminist movements during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Over the past two years, citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have witnessed huge legal reforms related to women’s rights. The most anticipated and exiting amendments were recently announced pursuant to Royal Decree number dated 27/11/1440 corresponding to 30/07/2019.

This decree constituted the amendment of four different laws, granting men and women equal civil rights, as well as freedom of independent movement, while ensuring equality for women in the work place.

The first amendment was made to the travel documents law. The change allows women to now issue, renew, and receive their own passports, instead of restricting this right to male citizens. Prior to this amendment, passports of female citizens used to be issued only after a request submitted by their male guardians, following which, only the guardian was authorised to receive it.

In addition, a Saudi woman was required to carry a travel permit issued by her male guardian, through the Saudi immigration directorate, in order to travel outside the country. Following the recent reforms, these restrictions have been lifted, allowing Saudi women over the age of 21 to request the issuance of their own passports and travel outside of KSA without needing permissions from their male legal guardians.

Another very important right given to Saudi women, as a result of the Decree, is the right for a divorced or widowed mother, holding the custody of her children, to have the authority to issue their passports and travel permissions.

The recent reforms also include amendments to the Saudi labour law, especially with regards to women’s rights. It began by changing the definition of an ‘employee’, stipulated in article two of the law, to state that ‘an employee is any natural person – male or female – who works for an employer…..’ This amendment is a huge recognition of Saudi women’s role and contribution at the workplace.

The amendments to the labour law also state that work is a right of every citizen, without any discrimination based on sex, disability, age, etc. In addition, it restricts an employer’s right to terminate a female employee’s contract in case of absence resulting from her pregnancy or any illness related thereto, as long as such absence does not exceed 180 days a year, whether consecutive or intermitted. This restriction is expected to safeguard working moms’ interests and rights.

The new Saudi labour law demonstrates perfect equality between the two genders at the workplace, in addition to accommodating special provisions that Saudi women may require in certain situations. The recent changes bring Saudi women closer to equality and recognise their importance to the government and economy as a productive, well-respected member of the society.

Witnessing such amendments fills every Saudi women’s heart with pride and a sense of fulfilment. It has been a great year for women in Saudi Arabia and I am proud to be one.