The figure of the guardian
In Saudi Arabia no women should ever leave her home without the companionship of her “guardian”. This “guardian” should be a man who’s related to the woman, usually her husband or father, but the guardianship could be passed on to her brother or any other close relative. All men have a Namus (it’s a code of “honor” that all men must respect. A part of the Namus is for the men to take care of the women in their family).
The guardian has duties and rights over the woman in many aspects of her civil life. Although for western women this may seem a violation of freedom for Arabic women is an act of protection that comes from her men and they are appreciative of it. Saudi men and women in many occasions have listed guardianship as part of women’s rights in the Muslim countries.
The acceptance of guardianship has been debated by groups of liberal activists who assure guardianship takes away women’s freedom by treating them as “merchandice”.
The system is said to emanate from social conventions, including the importance of protecting women, and from religious precepts on travel and marriage, although these requirements were arguably confined to particular situations.” Depending on the guardian, women may need their guardian’s permission for: marriage and divorce; travel, if under 45; education, employment, opening a bank account, elective surgery, particularly when sexual in nature.