In a new regulation that took effect today in Saudia Arabia, women will now be served their divorce notice by courts via text message.
Officials said the measure which is approved by the Justice Ministry is aimed at curbing seemingly rampant cases of men secretly ending marriages without informing their wives.
“Women will be notified of any changes to their marital status via text message,” the justice ministry said in a statement carried by state-run Al-Ekhbariya news channel and other local media.
“Women in the kingdom will be able to view documents related to the termination of their marriage contracts through the ministry’s website.”
This move is coming after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler spearheads a liberalisation drive in the conservative kingdom, which has some of the world’s toughest restrictions on women, AFP reports.
It would be recalled that it was just in June 2018 that women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time in decades as the kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists. The kingdom has also allowed women to enter sports stadiums, previously a male-only arena, and is pushing for greater participation of women in the workforce as it seeks to diversify its oil-dependent economy.
The country also faces criticism over its male guardianship system, which allows men to exercise arbitrary authority to make decisions on behalf of their female relatives.