Saudi Arabia to notify women of divorce via text, Report


The new measure was approved by the country's justice ministry on Sunday, Agence France-Presse reports citing local media.

Saudi Arabian courts will notify women by text message when their husbands have been granted divorces under a law that took effect on Sunday.

The message will include the divorce certificate number, women would be able check their marital status on the ministry's website and/or visit the relevant court to get a copy of their divorce papers.

"At least women will know whether they are divorced or not".

"In most Arab countries, men can just divorce their wives", said Suad Abu-Dayyeh from global rights group, Equality Now.

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Only recently was a royal decree reversed whereby divorced women would automatically lose custody of their children to their husbands.

Last year, Saudi Arabia in a historic move lifted a decades-old driving ban on women.

It was observed that in these cases, often referred to as secret divorces, women often end up missing out on alimony payments.

In addition, their marital status can be examined through a website.

Begum added that the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia makes women dependent on their husbands to travel overseas, change a passport, get a job or engage in any other activity.

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

In June of 2018, women were officially granted the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, following years of protests.

Nouf also explained that though several strides in women's rights have been made in recent months, there's still a long way to go before Saudi women win all their rights.

This means they need a male guardian to consent to their basic needs, such as education, work and marriage.

"However, before the male guardianship system is reformed or ended, we can not say we're completely free", she added. "This system strangles Saudi women".

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