I am writing to report a gross violation of basic human rights. Freedom of travel and choice of residence are wishes with no existence in Saudi Arabia.

I am a Saudi female physician highly sub-specialized in my field of expertise; in spite of my achievements and qualifications, I find my self under total oppression and anguish. I have been held restricted from travel for over two years now. My “crime” is being a Saudi female, subjected to the "male guardian system".

Saudi women are required to live in a subservient state under what is so called "male guardian ship" implemented by “Authorities,” as perpetual minors, deprived basic human rights.

Inferred rights are dependent on how caring, uncaring, stern or destructive the "male guardian" is.

My ex-husband decided to ban me from travel by using his alleged authority just before declaring the divorce final. Such an action was facilitated and approved by “Authorities” without a single question.

I petitioned the court to lift travel restrictions, however my request is still lingering, with no positive or definite answer.

To ostracize a human being, to allow such an action, is in my opinion sufficient grounds for revising the "male guardian system" in general, and for recognizing the necessity for mature independent females to persue their desired lives with no interference.

Such an action has substantially harmed my career, disabled my attendance to vital international conferences, and prevented me from acception invitations to gatherings held in my specialty.

Such an action occasions a regression of my medical knowledge and the fear and very real possibility of simply being "left behind."

Such an action halts most of my research projects, not to mention the devastating damage it inflicts on my ability to earn a living.

I am simply requesting to be treated like any civilized human being: to exercise free will, and to move and travel without the "male guardian system".


Dr. Fahda Sultan

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