Saudi Arabian women can now register for the annual Hajj pilgrimage without a male guardian (marham), the country’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced.
In its registration guidelines issued for this year’s Hajj for domestic pilgrims, the ministry said women do not need to have a male guardian to register, and could do so along with other women. “Those wishing to perform Hajj will have to register individually,” the Saudi Arabian government said in a statement.
India had in 2017 announced the same rule in 2017 when the Modi government declared that women could go on Haj without a male companion. The decades-old restriction on Muslim women was removed and all women who were exempted from marham were also exempted from the lottery system. The decision was met with an overwhelming response from women, particularly from single Muslim women and working women.
In the first year in 2018, the number of women who performed Hajj without mehram stood at 1,171 and in 2019 a total of 2,230 women performed Hajj without a male companion.
The pilgrimage was stopped in 2020 due to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
There are several factors that suggest that the central government under the leadership of Narendra Modi has been working towards the empowerment of women. The abolition of triple talaq on August 22, 2017 was also reflective of strong political of a government that put gender equality as its priority.
Another step taken by the Modi government from 2018 for the first time since Independence was when the Hajj subsidy was abolished in the year 2018 and in the year 2019 a record two lakh Indian Muslims perform Hajj without subsidy….The removal of subsidy till date has helped in saving close to 700, crores…
In fact the money which was saved because of the removal of subsidy has been used in empowering women of the minorities….This money has been used to provide education to the Muslim girls students so much so that the dropout rate amongst the girls which is earlier at about 70% has now been reduced to about 30 %….
Minority affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says to cnn news 18,”politicians come and do the talking but our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown that action matters louder than words does the way in which the empowerment of the Muslim women has been undertaken over the last few yearsShows that indeed as the government we believe in Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas Sab Ka vishwas.”