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Saudi Arabia: Reema Bint Banda welcomes reform

Ambassador to the United States Princess Reema Bint Bandar welcomed the government’s long-awaited decision, on 2 August, to allow women to travel outside the kingdom without first having to obtain permission from their male guardians. Princess Reema, the most prominent female member of the royal family, said the changes were “designed to elevate the status of Saudi women within our society”. She claimed that “our leadership has proved its unequivocal commitment to gender equality.” However, critics observed that many campaigners for women’s rights remain in jail.

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