Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women , and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive. Under the guardianship system a male family member, normally the father, husband or brother, must grant permission for a woman´s study, travel and other activities.
But the Arab News said a royal decree issued by King Salman ordered that women are no longer required to obtain a guardian´s consent for official services "unless there is a legal basis for this request" under Islamic law.
Government agencies were advised of this directive, the report said.
Other Saudi media including the Sabq online newspaper, which is close to authorities, have carried similar reports.