The latest Saudi women's rights 'reform' is breathtaking (and not in a good way)

The idea that democracy and liberty can be exported to the Muslim Middle East was naïve when applied to Iraq, a far more modern society than Saudi Arabia, albeit a totalitarian dictatorship under Saddam Hussein.  Bringing Saudi society into anything resembling compatibility with the modernity practiced in all of the advanced countries of the world – the express goal of Prince Mohammed bin Salman – is a task seems Sisyphean.

This dispatch from Lin Taylor and Haba Kanso of News.com.au shows how combining seventh-century concepts of morality to twenty-first-century technology is at best a mixed blessing.

Women in Saudi Arabia will be notified by text message if they are divorced under a new law designed to protect them from having their marriage ended without their knowledge, the country's government says.

The new law, which came into effect on Sunday, is seen as a way to end secret divorces and ensure women are fully aware of their marital status so they can protect their rights.


Image credit: PXhere.

My dating life ended long before text messaging became a fact of life for lovebirds (like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page), but I had the impression that breaking up by text message was considered the coldest way to part from a lover.  Escalating the breakup to actual divorce by text message is even colder.

For Saudi women, this is considered progress.

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

It said women could check their marital status on the ministry's website or visit the relevant court to get a copy of divorce papers.

Global rights group Equality Now's Suad Abu-Dayyeh said the new law was a positive step.

"At least women will know whether they are divorced or not.  It is a tiny step, but it is a step in the right direction," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

How many tiny steps does it take to drag a seventh-century society into the twenty-first?

Hat tip: John McMahon

The idea that democracy and liberty can be exported to the Muslim Middle East was naïve when applied to Iraq, a far more modern society than Saudi Arabia, albeit a totalitarian dictatorship under Saddam Hussein.  Bringing Saudi society into anything resembling compatibility with the modernity practiced in all of the advanced countries of the world – the express goal of Prince Mohammed bin Salman – is a task seems Sisyphean.

This dispatch from Lin Taylor and Haba Kanso of News.com.au shows how combining seventh-century concepts of morality to twenty-first-century technology is at best a mixed blessing.

Women in Saudi Arabia will be notified by text message if they are divorced under a new law designed to protect them from having their marriage ended without their knowledge, the country's government says.

The new law, which came into effect on Sunday, is seen as a way to end secret divorces and ensure women are fully aware of their marital status so they can protect their rights.


Image credit: PXhere.

My dating life ended long before text messaging became a fact of life for lovebirds (like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page), but I had the impression that breaking up by text message was considered the coldest way to part from a lover.  Escalating the breakup to actual divorce by text message is even colder.

For Saudi women, this is considered progress.

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

It said women could check their marital status on the ministry's website or visit the relevant court to get a copy of divorce papers.

Global rights group Equality Now's Suad Abu-Dayyeh said the new law was a positive step.

"At least women will know whether they are divorced or not.  It is a tiny step, but it is a step in the right direction," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

How many tiny steps does it take to drag a seventh-century society into the twenty-first?

Hat tip: John McMahon