Saudi women to receive divorce notice via text

Saudi women are subject to male guardianship laws

Saudi women are subject to male guardianship laws

"The Ministry of Justice has now instituted a technological measure, a technological system that allows women to be informed or notified when their husband has registered their divorce with the court".

A text message will be sent to women in Saudi Arabia who have been divorced by their husband, starting Sunday.

Under the current regulations, men can legally divorce women with a verbal statement and get the decision finalised in a court.

Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Middle East and North Africa consultant for gender rights group Equality Now, called the new measure "a step in the right direction".

Currently, some men register divorce deeds at the courts without even telling their wives, al-Ghamdi said by phone from Jeddah.

This comes after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "lifted" the ban on women driving previous year.

The new law came into effect on Sunday and has been lauded as a great way to end secret divorces and to protect women's rights.

Despite the new ruling, Saudi women are still unable to do many things such apply for passports, travel overseas, get married and open a bank account without approval from a male guardian, who customarily is her husband, father, brother or son.

In June previous year, women celebrated going behind the wheel for the first time after a decade-old female driving ban was overturned.

This means they need a male guardian to consent to their basic needs, such as education, work and marriage.

"The male guardianship system is a core issue and it must be dismantled".

Nouf also explained that though several strides in women's rights have been made in recent months, there's still a long way to go before Saudi women win all their rights.

Nevertheless, women will continue to be under male guardianship laws.

A young Saudi woman reportedly ran away from her family while on vacation in Kuwait last week and boarded a plane to Thailand, where she is now being detained, claiming her family was abusive.

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