To end secret divorces, Saudi women will at least now receive a notification via text

Muslim woman holding phone
Muslim woman holding phone

While a text message isn't exactly the most decent or considerate way to convey something as significant as the end of a marriage, Saudi women are celebrating the new law that was passed a few days ago.

Before this, according to Aljazeera, in most Arab countries man could divorce their wives without notifying them. While the latest development is a positive one, women will still not receive alimony or custody of their children.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabia has finally issued driver’s licenses to women for the first time

The new law comes as part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salmen's efforts to give Saudi women more rights in the extremely conservative Kingdom. The women will now be able to get copies of their divorce papers online.

"Saudi courts have started to send such (divorce) notifications ... a step aimed at protecting the rights of female clients," the Saudi Ministry of Justice wrote in a statement on their website.

READ MORE: Is it possible for you to be a Muslim woman and a feminist? 

Last year a ban on women driving was also lifted and women were allowed into sports stadiums. They were also given the right to vote and greater access to the Saudi workforce, all in a bid to both equalise and diversify their oil economy.

While efforts have been made to award Saudi women more freedom and rights, they have taken to social media to push for more. Their latest demand is a lift on the law that women are forced to wear abaya in public, which is a garment that covers the entire body.

READ MORE: Instead of paying a R300 fine, a woman is going to spend 2 years in jail for removing her headscarf in public

According to The Week, last year in an attempt to get the law lifted, thousands of Saudi women wore their clothes inside out and used the hashtag #inside-out-abaya to successfully get more attention to the campaign.

Their efforts received the following response from the Crown Prince in a CBS TV interview;

"“The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of Sharia, that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men... The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear.”

READ MORE: "Can you only wear black?" and other questions Muslim women get asked about modest wear

Even though the small victories are to be celebrated for these Saudi women, they still have a long way to go before men and women are completely equal, as women still need permission from men before they can do things like apply for a passport or open a bank account.

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