Saudi Arabia has allowed women above 45 years to perform Umrah without a male guardian. The announcement came on Tuesday for the women who want to perform Umrah.
“So far women were only allowed to come in groups of women to perform Umrah or Hajj, or with a mahram,” a travel agent in Jeddah said to The National News.
“The rules of the kingdom are now changing as it is opening up and this is going to make a lot of Muslim women happy because it is easing the rules and pressure on them coming here.”
People believe the decision will help the families to save the costs as earlier it was mandatory for women to be accompanied by a male guardian called ‘mehram’.
“I think this is great for older women, especially those who don’t necessarily have the means or availability of mahram,” said a woman talking to the media outlet.
This is another relaxation brought by the Saudi authorities for women.
Saudi Arabia has appointed 10 women in senior roles at Islam’s two holiest sites, authorities as the conservative petro-state seeks to boost female employment.
Ministry of Hajj And Umrah has announced that women now can
issue an Umrah visa without the need for "Mahram", but on one
conditions that only women at age 45 and above can obtain Umrah
visa for women coming from abroad to perform Umrah.
– Saudi Arabia pic.twitter.com/qeaXOSAuZl
— RAIES AHMAD (@RAIESAHMAD_2) March 29, 2022
Applicants must be partially vaccinated aged between 18-65, should be part of a grouphttps://t.co/f9N3t27KO1
— Waqas Mahmood (@awmahmood10) March 27, 2022
The appointment of women in senior positions at religious institutions is rare in the Islamic kingdom, which is in the midst of a wide-ranging liberalization drive spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The women were appointed in the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina across various departments, including administrative and technical, according to a statement released by the general presidency for the affairs of the two holy mosques.
The recruitment drive was aimed at “empowering Saudi women with high qualifications and capabilities”, the statement said.
The two holy mosques previously recruited 41 women in leadership positions in 2018, according to Saudi media.
Prince Mohammed has sought to boost employment for women as part of his “Vision 2030” plan, which is aimed at diversifying the kingdom’s economy and ending its addiction to oil.