Text message to inform Saudi women of divorce

Geraldine Edwards
January 9, 2019

Women would be notified immediately by text message "about any Change in your marital status", it said from the Ministry of justice.

Reuters reported that the new law, which was enforced as of January 6, aims to protect women from secret divorces and enables women to protect their rights, including their right to alimony.

A new law in Saudi Arabia is set to prevent Saudi women from being divorced without their knowledge.

A court ruling came into effect on Sunday requiring Saudi men to notify their wives before divorcing them.

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This new regulation ensures that all Saudi women get their full rights when they're divorced.

"The message includes the certificate number and the name of the relevant court".

Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Middle East and North Africa consultant for gender rights group Equality Now, called the new measure "a step in the right direction". "For one, they wouldn't have to pay any proper alimony or grant a woman her monetary rights".

Huda al-Badri, 30, poses behind a steering wheel on June 24, 2018, the firts time women in Saudi Arabia are allowed to legally drive.

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However there are many things Saudi women continue to be banned from doing without permission from a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother or son, including applying for a passport, leaving the country, opening a bank account, leaving prison, getting elected surgery and getting married.

Having said that, there is a long way to go as many of their rights are still restricted to having a male guardianship system. It controls women in each and every step of their lives.

Although many have hailed the Saudi government's reforms, these have been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent with about a dozen female activists arrested. "This system strangles Saudi women".

Family status courts are obligated to ensure that these measures are taken and the women are informed.

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