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Women in Saudi Arabia will now receive a text from the courts confirming their divorce.
The new regulation is designed to prevent women from being divorced without their knowledge. It also means women will be better able to protect their alimony rights.
It is hoped the measure will end the practice of secret divorces, as many women have filed appeals to the courts after being divorced without their knowledge, lawyer Samia al-Hindi told local newspaper Okaz.
... And you thought being dumped on MSN messenger when you were 13 was harsh. Still, a text is better than nothing at all.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Saudi lawyer Nisreen al-Ghamdi said: "The new measure ensures women get their [alimony] rights when they're divorced.
"It also ensures that any powers of attorney issued before the divorce are not misused."
The move is one of many social reforms being implemented by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in order to improve the country's economy.
In June, a ban on women driving was lifted following years of protests. And last January, women were allowed to attend football matches for the first time, all be it in a segregated area.
While the developments are undoubtedly positive, it's difficult to wholeheartedly rejoice, given there is no reason why women shouldn't be able to do these things in the first place.
To give you a sense of how far the extremely conservative country has to come, here are a few things we all do without thought, that women in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from doing without permission from a man:
- Applying for passports
- Travelling abroad
- Getting married
- Opening a bank account
- Starting certain businesses
- Getting elective surgery
- Leaving prison
This is due to the male guardianship system in the country, which basically works in a similar way as pet ownership in this country. The male guardian can be a husband, brother, father or even a son.
Fancy that - a bloke divorces you without so much as a heads up, and the little shit you pushed out tells you whether you're allowed to go on holiday.
No surprise then that just today an 18-year-old Saudi Arabian woman has claimed she is stranded at Bangkok airport after trying to flee her family.
Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun was on a trip to Kuwait with her family two days ago when she tried to abscond, taking a flight to Australia. However, when switching to the second-leg of her flight in Bangkok she was stopped by a Saudi official and had her passport seized.
She told the BBC she had renounced Islam and feared she would be forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia and killed by her family.
So yeah, long old fucking way to go.
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