Saudi women to get divorce notice by text

A new regulation in Saudi Arabia is set to stop Saudi women from not knowing about their own divorce.

Starting from Sunday, courts will be required to notify women by text on rulings confirming their divorces.

Local female lawyers suggest the measure will end what are known as secret divorces – cases where men end a marriage without telling their wives.

The directive would ensure women are fully aware of their marital status and can protect rights such as alimony.

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

However, women still remain subject to male guardianship laws.

“The new measure ensures women get their [alimony] rights when they’re divorced,” Saudi lawyer Nisreen al-Ghamdi told Bloomberg. “It also ensures that any powers of attorney issued before the divorce are not misused.”

Many women have filed appeals to courts over being divorced without their knowledge, lawyer Samia al-Hindi told local newspaper Okaz.

The new step is said to be part of economic and social reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, such as allowing women to attend football matches and work in jobs traditionally reserved for men.

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