Freedom of movement is an essential right, recognized by international instruments, including Article 15 (4) of CEDAW.
Nevertheless, in many regions of the world, women have this right severely restricted, in law or in practice. For instance, in some countries women may not leave the home without a male guardian,
or without the consent of the husband – for example the personal law of Yemen states that a wife must obey her husband and must not get out of the home without his consent.
Even in countries which do not have legal restrictions, women's movement may be prevented in practice by social and religious norms such as purdah. Laws restricting women from travelling existed until relatively recently in some Western countries: until 1983, in Australia the passport application of a married woman had to be authorized by her husband.