Saudi women will be for the first time granted national identity cards, giving them the freedom to act independently.
The move means women will no longer have to rely on a male family member to affirm their identity in situations such as applying for government services or establishing a business.
The ID cards will be optional before becoming mandatory after seven years.
Saudi women welcomed the Cabinet decision, Arab News reported, quoting a female student, Mysar Jabr, who said it was another step toward empowering women.
“It is vital for women, especially when they are in business and serve as Shoura members. They are not just dependent members [anymore],” she told Arab News.
Saudi males over 15 years old also will be required to obtain an individual identity card under the new regulations.
It will be optional for children aged ten to 15 years.
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