#IAmMyOwnGuardian Campaign Aims to End Guardianship System

Country: Saudi Arabia
May 2, 2017

Since 2016, the #IAmMyOwnGuardian Campaign has advocated for the abolishment of the guardianship system in Saudi Arabia. This system subjugates women by making male guardians, including their fathers, husbands, or other male relatives, their legal custodians throughout their lives. Nearly 15,000 Saudi women called for an end to guardianship through the Campaign’s online petition which went viral in September 2016. According to the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GC4HR), on April 19, 2017, Saudi activist Maryam Al-Otaibi, one of the Campaign’s organizers and participants, was arrested after her father issued a complaint about her moving out of his house without a guardian. She is now detained at the Al-Malaz prison in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Other prominent Saudi women’s rights activists such as Samar Badawi have also been imprisoned for trying to defend themselves against abusive male relatives who have used the guardianship system as a legal way to control women. Click here to join the #IAmMyOwnGuardian online conversation.