Select Page

Women rights in Saudi Arabia: ‘I escaped to seek a better life’

It’s a dramatic story that has brought the restrictions faced by women in Saudi Arabia back into the spotlight.

Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, garnered global attention last week after she locked herself into her hotel room and refused to fly back home.

She was fleeing her family in Saudi Arabia and, after instigating a high-profile Twitter campaign, was granted asylum in Canada.

As the debate about women’s rights in the country continues, another young woman who fled Saudi Arabia for Canada has told her story to the BBC.

Salwa, 24, ran away with her 19-year-old sister eight months ago and now lives in Montreal. This, in her own words, is her story.

Short presentational grey line

The preparation

We had been planning to leave for roughly six years, but we needed a passport and a national ID card to do so.

I needed the consent of my guardian to get these documents. (Women in Saudi Arabia are required to obtain a male relative’s approval for many things).

Fortunately, I had a national ID card already because my family agreed to give me one while I was studying at university. Read more

Read also:  White House Sought Options to Strike Iran

Women rights in Saudi Arabia: ‘I escaped to seek a better life’

It’s a dramatic story that has brought the restrictions faced by women in Saudi Arabia back into the spotlight.

Women rights in Saudi Arabia: ‘I escaped to seek a better life’

It’s a dramatic story that has brought the restrictions faced by women in Saudi Arabia back into the spotlight.

Women rights in Saudi Arabia: ‘I escaped to seek a better life’

It’s a dramatic story that has brought the restrictions faced by women in Saudi Arabia back into the spotlight.

Women rights in Saudi Arabia: ‘I escaped to seek a better life’

It’s a dramatic story that has brought the restrictions faced by women in Saudi Arabia back into the spotlight.