Manama: Saudi Arabia is considering new measures to allow women to travel without the consent of a male custodian.

“We are moving ahead with implementing new regulations regarding the travel of women and the easing of procedures without the need for a custodian’s consent,” Major General Sulaiman Al Yahya, director-general of passports, said. “The reasons for the travel will be the criteria for the women’s travel, and not their age,” he said, local media reported.

Saudi women need the consent of a male custodian before they can leave the country, by air or by road.

Al Yahya added that the procedures regarding allowing women to travel without the approval of her custodian are not linked solely with the interior ministry of the passports department.

“There are other parties involved, such as the justice ministry and the social affairs ministry,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Riyadh.

“Whenever we receive a note from the court that there is no ban on the woman travelling abroad or renewing her passport without the need of her custodian’s consent, we implement it right away. The directives are to improve the procedures and to keep abreast with the more advanced countries. The passports department is moving ahead with enhancing all the services it provides,” he said.