Women in Saudi Arabia can now open their own businesses without the consent of a husband or male relative, as the kingdom pushes to expand a fast-growing private sector. The policy change, announced by the Saudi government on Thursday, also marks a major step away from the strict guardianship system that has ruled the country for decades. Under Saudi Arabia's guardianship system, women are required to present proof of permission from a male "guardian" - normally the husband, father or brother - to do any government paperwork, travel or enrol in classes.
Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor's office this month said it would begin recruiting women investigators for the first time. The kingdom has also opened 140 positions for women at airports and border crossings, a historic first that the government said drew 1,07,000 female applicants.