Saudi Arabia allows women to perform Hajj without male guardian

epaselect epa05066147 Saudi women leave a polling station after casting their votes in the Kigdom's municipal elections, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 12 December 2015. For the first time Saudi women have been allowed to run and vote in the the country's municipal elections, regarded as a small but significant opening of the ultra conservative society to women. Though female candidates were not allowed to campaign and had to be accomapanied by a male guardian in order to be able to vote in the country where they are still not allowed by law to drive. The voting age was also lowered prior to the election from 21 to 18. EPA/AHMED YOSRI

JEDDAH – In a historic move, Saudi Arabia has withdrawn its restriction of a male guardian (mahram) for women to get register for Hajj this year.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has issued guidelines for online registration of this year’s Hajj for the domestic pilgrims.

“Those wishing to perform Haj will have to register individually. Women can register without a mahram (male guardian) along with other women,” the ministry said in a tweet.

The decision of lifting the restriction comes after Saudi women were allowed to live on their own without getting consent from their father or male guardian.

Hajj Limited to Citizens and Residents of Kingdom

Saudi Arabia has banned international visitors from performing Hajj this year in a bid to control coronavirus in the kingdom.

According to Arab News, the authorities have decided to limit registration for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to citizens and residents of the Kingdom due to prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

The ministries of health and Hajj announced on Saturday that a total of 60,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj this year.

It stressed that those wishing to perform pilgrimage must be vaccinated against the virus. People aged from 18 to 65 will be allowed to take part in the rituals.

The decision is “based on the Kingdom’s constant keenness to enable the guests and visitors at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah,” the ministry said. “The Kingdom puts human health and safety first.”

The hajj will begin mid-July.

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