Saudi women to start receiving divorce notice by text message

Saudi women to start receiving divorce notice by text message

The initiative came about after concerns a growing number of Saudi men were not telling their wives they were divorced.

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Justice has announced that, as of Sunday, women will receive text message notification from the court when their marital status changes.

"At least women will know whether they are divorced or not", said Suad Abu-Dayyeh from global rights group, Equality Now. "It is a tiny step, but it is a step in the right direction".

Lawyer Samia al-Hindi told local newspaper Okaz that it is common for women to file appeals to courts over being divorced without their knowledge.

This comes after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "lifted" the ban on women driving past year. "The courts notify women of probate certificates related to marital status - upon approval - through their Absher-registered mobile numbers", the ministry explained.

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

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Women in Saudi Arabia will now be informed via text message if they're being divorced - and the government says it'll help protect them. In recent years, the kingdom has granted women the right to enter sports stadiums and participate in elections for the first time.

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

Women in the kingdom have gained more rights since H H Mohammed Bin-Salman took power two years ago.

Having said that, there is a long way to go as many of their rights are still restricted to having a male guardianship system.

What can Saudi women still not do?

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