What Saudi women can and cannot do

This will likely be an evolving post and one which I hope will receive input and contributions from readers.  I was recently asked if I could make a list of what Saudi women can and cannot do due to the culture, social, law and religious traditions of the Kingdom. 


For starters, they cannot:


  • Drive (culture, social and legal)
  • Sponsor a non-Saudi husband for residency (iqama) in the Kingdom (legal)
  • Visit a graveyard (although there is debate on this topic) (culture and religious)
  • Attend Friday prayers in a mosque unless there is a women section (there is also debate on this topic) (culture and religious)
  • Be alone with an unrelated man who is not a “sanctioned” relative (father, grandfather, brother, uncle, husband) (culture, social and legal)
  • Travel alone without approval of the male mahrem (culture, social and legal)

What can they do?saudi-woman-pilot

  • Work
  • Have their own bank accounts
  • Have their own businesses
  • Own properties
  • Own businesses
  • Make investments
  • Have their own driver
  • Own a car

 As I said when starting this post, I started some of the issues and now turn it over for readers to add their comments.  I realize this can be a heated topic on which there will likely be diverse views and opinions and ask everyone that we ensure to discuss the issue in a non-confrontational and adult manner which will further understanding of the differing views shared.


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