Gaza court bars women to travel without male member’s approval

Gaza court bars women to travel without male member’s approval

In a controversial travel regulation, a Hamas Islamic court in Gaza stated that women require male’s permission to travel and any movement in and out of the territory would be deemed ‘illegal’ without a guardian’s approval. Under the Hamas de facto government in Gaza strip, women rights are ‘severely violated’ and the civil liberties have declined, according to Euro-Med monitor, as both Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas have exercised oppressive regime in the West Bank under its Islamist gender ideology.

In the verdict, the judge ruled that the unmarried women were prohibited to travel unless permitted by a father or older male relative. The language of the ruling strongly implied that a married woman would not be able to travel without her husband’s approval.

The ruling resembles the so-called guardianship laws that long existed in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where women were treated as minors requiring the permission of a husband, father or even a son to apply for a passport and travel abroad. The kingdom loosened those restrictions in 2019.

Hassan al-Jojo, head of the supreme judicial council, told Associated Press that the ruling was balanced and consistent with Islamic and civil laws. He dismissed what he called “artificial and unjustified noise” on social media about the edict, The Guardian reported.

The territory is home to 2 million Palestinians. All Gazans must go through a lengthy permit process to travel abroad and largely rely on the Rafah crossing with Egypt, which only opens sporadically. The restrictions make it difficult for people to seek medical care or higher education outside the narrow coastal strip.

Featured image: A Palestinian demonstrator wearing a mask at the rally. PHOTO: AFP/Tribune

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