Saudi women will from now on be notified by text message if their spouse submits an application to the court for divorce. That has been decided by the Ministry of Justice.

“Today, some men go to court to request a divorce without their wife even being aware of it,” says lawyer Nisreen al-Ghami. “The new rule ensures that women know their rights after a divorce”, referring to alimony money. In addition, the adjustment must ensure that proxies granted for the separation are not misused.

In the circular from the Ministry of Justice, which al-Ghamdi has circulated, the new rule is closely linked to the ministry’s efforts to implement the plan of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to undertake a series of economic and social reforms by 2030. The era of Crown Prince bin Salman, women have been given more rights in Saudi Arabia in recent years. Last year, the ban on women to drive a car was lifted, and various restrictions on the social life of women and their dealings with men were relaxed.

Yet, according to human rights organization Human Rights Watch, women still need the permission of a man to apply for a passport, to travel abroad, to apply for a scholarship to study abroad, to marry or to leave prison.

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