Saudi Arabia: women should be informed via SMS about their divorce

Saudi women have only just been allowed to get behind the wheel. Image AAP

The new measure was approved by the country's justice ministry on Sunday, Agence France-Presse reports citing local media.

Saudi courts are now required to inform women of changes to their personal status following a divorce or a marriage by sending them confirmation messages on their mobiles.

In a statement to StepFeed, Saudi women's rights activist Nouf said that even though the recently passed ruling isn't ideal, it's still a step in the right direction.

Basically, the reason for this new concept is so that women in Saudi won't be divorced without their knowledge.

The move comes as the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been bringing in several liberal reforms in order to accelerate the kingdom's economic growth.

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

In addition, their marital status can be examined through a website.

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This new regulation ensures that all Saudi women get their full rights when they're divorced.

But Rothna Begum, a senior researcher for women's rights at Human Rights Watch, says this is just a "technical measure" disguised as law.

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

Guardianship laws are legal codes based on a strict interpretation of Shariah law that ensure women in Saudi Arabia remain a legal dependent.

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

However, he's also overseen waves of brutal crackdowns on dissent, with targets including everyone from fellow royals and feminist activists to journalist in self-imposed exile Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered past year by Saudi agents at the nation's consulate in Turkey. "All it allows for is a new technological notification system for what is already a very outdated discriminatory system against women".

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