No more secret divorces: Saudi women to get text alerts on marital status

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Saudi women will now receive message text alerts if they are divorced under a new law protecting women from getting the divorce without their knowledge.

Saudi justice minister had taken this decision due to increasing cases where women were found not aware of the divorce petitions filed against them. The new law would help them protect their rights, and gives them an opportunity to demand alimony.

Women can also check their marital status from an online portal of the Saudi Ministry of Justice, and get a copy of their divorce papers.

Family status courts are obligated to ensure that these measures are taken and the women are informed. However, the message alert will not contain the word “divorce”, so as to prevent shock for the wives.

 According to Gulf News, the message would say: “Such a move would be a dramatic escalation of the current slowdown, which has forced a partial government shutdown that’s now in its third week.”

Apart from this, newly-wed women will also get message notifications of their changed marital status.

The move comes as the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been bringing in several liberal reforms in order to accelerate the kingdom’s economic growth.

Recently, the prince lifted the ban on women driving in Saudi, and also allowed women to enter sports stadiums. But Saudis still faces criticism for its law, which states that women must always be accompanied by a male guardian (husband, brother or father) and which allows the men to make decisions on behalf of their female counterparts.

However, despite the new measures, the authorities have arrested many female activists in the past couple of months for raising their voice against Saudi policies.

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