A group of US women said they were not able to apply for the same US university scholarships they received because of the country’s draconian restrictions on women’s right to travel abroad.
“The government in Washington said we were not eligible because we are not married,” Al Jazeera’s Alix Spiegel reported from New York.
“So we went to a local college, where we were told that because we have children we could not go to the US,” said Emily Lauterborn, a senior from Massachusetts, adding that she and her husband were also banned from visiting relatives or visiting their US-based daughter who is currently studying in the US.
“We were just very frustrated,” Lauternsbergh told Spiegel.
“When you’re a single parent you are not able, you’re not able of doing that kind of work and so we just just decided to leave.”
What I didn’t realise was that the government, they’re the one that really controls women in the world,” she added.
The US is one of only two countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ban all travel by women over the age of 18, and has the third highest percentage of women who are unemployed in the OECD, according to a report released on Friday by the Pew Research Centre.”
It is a little bit of a strange situation because it’s so hard to find work,” said Lautermbsbergh.”
They don’t want to do that, but the only way that we can actually do that is to get an American visa.
“That’s a pretty steep hurdle,” Lauernsher said.
“I’m pretty sure I’m going to get that.
It’s going to be difficult, but I know that I can make it happen.”‘
I’m still getting a lot of flak’The US does not recognize international marriages and cannot grant foreign spouses the same right to stay and work in the country.
In 2015, the US Supreme Court overturned the ruling, which had been overturned in California, and granted US citizens the same rights to travel and work.
Lautersbergh and Lauterconsbergh have been granted US visas and are now able to visit their daughter in New York, but she said she had not yet made any plans to return to the country to see her mother and husband.
Lautern and Lauerbsberglings said that despite the challenges of obtaining a US visa, the couple have found ways to maintain a good relationship with their US friends and family.
“People are very supportive of us and the way that the US has been handling things, we have no issues whatsoever,” Lauserbsberg said.
“We’ve been really happy.”
Alix Spiegel/Al Jazeera