USCIRF Releases Report on the Saudi Guardianship System

Nov 5, 2020


USCIRF Releases Report on the Saudi Guardianship System

Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a new report on Saudi religious guardianship laws:

Saudi Guardianship Report – This report describes Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system and explains how it restricts religious freedom in the country. It briefly reviews the history of guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia and the key concepts in Islam that the Saudi government references in its singular interpretation of the religion. The report details the severe effects of guardianship laws on Saudi women, including limitations on their ability to marry, travel, attend university, and obtain medical care. The report recommends that the U.S. administration press the Saudi government to dismantle the religious guardianship system and free activists who have been jailed for peacefully protesting that system.

In its 2020 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the State Department designate Saudi Arabia as a ‘country of particular concern’ in part because of the systematic and egregious restrictions the guardianship system places on religious freedom for women.


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on threats to religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at