Progress for women in Saudi Arabia!


This is really amazing news: any foreign mother of a Saudi child now has the right to stay or remain in Saudi Arabia with all the rights of a Saudi citizen, like education, jobs, fees and free healthcare available to Saudi citizens.
This is not the Saudi citizenship, but it does give foreign mothers the same rights as Saudi women. Without a sponsor!

This has great implications for Saudi wives, until now a foreign wife and mother would lose her sponsor (husband) and could and often would be deported after a divorce. And permissions to work as a foreigner would limit her choice of jobs, especially with the current Saudization of the workforce. Now she counts as a Saudi.

If there are no problems between husband and wife it is still very helpful in giving foreign women opportunities for work and medical care.

Women, Saudi or foreign, still have many limitations  in Saudi Arabia but this is a significant step forward for those foreign wives who have children with a Saudi husband.



Edit: it’s now on Arab News English too!

Read more:

Al Arabyia (in Arabic)

17 Responses

  1. Please stop sending these to me. I have I unsubscribed multiple times.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Is this only to women who have given birth to their Saudi child within the Kingdom?

  3. This is awesome news…

  4. Progress!!!

  5. Congratulations!

  6. This sounds like the beginnings of real progress.

  7. Punchy, they don’t really say but it probably won’t matter. It never matters for other issues, the only thing which matters for all issues is the father being Saudi.

  8. Baby steps, ladies…baby steps. I’ll take them all!! 🙂

  9. But I always notice that progress for women has to be in baby-steps, while taking rights away from women is done in giant steps…
    Oh well, it seems the tendency is for improvement now which is a good thing.

  10. wonderful

  11. i am very about your message that saudi women have the liberty in education field but not in political field . A women of saudi arabia recently climbed in Mount everest. good news.


  12. This is great news! Actually, I am surprised as I did not think the rights of foreign wife was anywhere near the horizon.
    Also, I am so glad to see American Bedu active again. Thanks to the author.

  13. what about mothers of Saudi children left behind?

  14. My husband told me to be cautiously excited. (He’s Saudi and I’m American and we have 3 Saudi children, but I have not been able to get an iqama to-date.) He said these types of laws get announced, but then try going to go through the system to get your rights and you may find there’s no procedure to back up the law yet…if ever. I’d love to hear from anyone who walks the path and then let me know how it goes. 🙂 I’ll be trying myself soon so any that go before me with advice would be appreciated!

  15. I think they really mean this law. However, if your marriage is not with permission of the Saudi government that is different. All of us here are very happy with the change. I’ll get back to you if it doesn’t pan out.

  16. Regarding this new iqama ( indefinite leave to remain)- what steps does the husband need to take in order to apply for it?
    Have applications already started? Do they also go through the emarah?
    Has anyone on the panel already got it? and how long did it take? Is it an almost automatic procedure?

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