Saudi women to start receiving divorce notice by text message

More women in Saudi Arabia are getting divorced than ever before. Bloomberg

This is supposed to reduce the number of Saudi Men who end marriages with their wives without telling their wives.

The Saudi Ministry of Justice described the move as "a step aimed at protecting the rights of female clients".

Starting from Sunday, courts will be required to notify women about a change in their marital status in case of divorce being granted.

Women can also inquire about their marital status through a website and view details of any probate certificates.

"The new measure ensures women get their [alimony] rights when they're divorced", Saudi lawyer Nisreen al-Ghamdi told Bloomberg. In some cases this also led to men impersonating their wives or using previously valid powers of attorney in order to gain control of their ex-wives finances.

Women in Saudi Arabia will now receive confirmation of divorces through text.

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"In most Arab countries, men can just divorce their wives", she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In June past year, women celebrated going behind the wheel for the first time after a decade-old female driving ban was overturned. In addition, a number of women have been in the past few months, the right-Activists arrested.

"This system strangles Saudi women".

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

Despite small steps such as allowing women to drive, campaigners say the main sticking point remained Saudi Arabia's guardianship policy, where women must have permission from a male relative to work, travel, marry, and even get some medical treatment.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, named heir to the throne in June 2017, has pushed an economic plan, known as "Vision 2030", that aims to boost the female quota in the workplace from 22 percent to 30 percent by 2030.

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