Saudi law now requires sending a text to women after their husbands secretly divorce them


Originally published at:


We should be more specific when talking about this. Saudi Arabia is an important ally of the United States Government, in the government’s pursuit of an aimless and violent Middle East policy.

Saudi Arabia is not an ally of the United States people.

This distinction is rapidly gaining in importance.


What seems to us at first glance to be a stone-cold dis to women (understandably so) turns out to be what counts as actual progress when it comes to our “valued ally.”

I’m glad that at least one young woman was able to escape this backwards culture in a way that may inspire others:


“part of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030 project for Saudi Arabia which seeks to reinvent Saudi Arabia as an open and inviting modern nation.”

In a pig’s eye, Prince.



Addendum: Saudi women no longer allowed to have cellphones.




Yeah, that’s what I read. At least they get the actual news, vs living in the dark for however long.


Can’t a women just check her Facebook status? (Assuming her husband has given her the password, of course.) :angry:


Another indicator of the demise of the Fax Machine.


I was coming to post: Progress I guess?

Certainly doesn’t feel like it to me.


More specifically it’s a handful of key industrialists who hold the reigns of the military industrial complex and who saturate the Beltway with henchmen (lobbyists). We really have no power – we elect a GOP candidate and they’re, by the very wallpaper, in bed with the resource extraction keys. We elect a Democratic candidate, and they might say they’re this and that uninfluenced by big oil blah blah, but when they need to get something done, they’re on their knees in a second.

The only thing that will work is if we all stop driving for a couple of months.


Hah - I was about to post a Phil Collins reference but I think you beat me to it.


How civilized.

[note sadly the sarcasm]


One text message isn’t really the same as having a copy of the documents.


To the extent that Saudi Arabia cares about foreign opinion, there is a bit of a perverse incentive here. The status quo is shitty, but it’s not News, so no one hears about it, or at least not all on the same day. If you make improvements, that’s news, but the story is naturally not the tiny improvement, it’s the mountain of progress yet to be made. So the best way to avoid criticism is to not change anything.

This is a known structural flaw of “news”, and the traditional antidote is to stage protests and suchlike, which are a way to put ongoing problems into the news cycle without deterring the government from making positive change. The lesson for the Saudi government should be, if you want good press, allow open dissent.


Yeah, no, I think they’d prefer to implement our news model.



My initial assumption was that this was so that the women would know where their husbands went when they suddenly didn’t come home. But … they’re still living with their ex-wives? Why?


They can get that too.

The text message notifies them of the divorce and provides the court reference which they can then use to view the documents online:

The courts notify women of probate certificates related to marital status – upon approval – through their Absher-registered mobile numbers,” the ministry explained. “The message includes the certificate number and the name of the relevant court.”

Through the ministry’s Najiz portal (, women can also inquire about their marital status and view the details of any probate certificates.

Female clients can also visit the court or the court president’s office in order to obtain a copy of the divorce certificate, if any.

Doesn’t help with avoiding the divorce of course but then they can’t do that anyway.

I can’t find any example of that in English and I can’t read Arabic so your guess is as good as mine. All I can think of is that under Shariah law a husband has responsibilities towards a wife. Those don’t apply to an ex-wife.

If you’re an evil bastard, I suppose there might be some benefits to living with a woman to whom you are not married but who thinks she is still required to comply with her obligations as a wife.

For one thing, if you’ve been managing her mahr, you can carry on doing so and if you deferred it so it’s only payable on divorce, you can carry on keeping it.


OHHH I forgot about mahr! That does make sense! I should have thought of that when they said “alimony”.


Why is article written; “women” when it is ‘Spouse’ or ‘wives’ that must be text messaged of secret divorce by/from their husband. Is gay marriage possible in S.A. but neither spouse needs notify their legally marriage partner if they are males?

That husbands were legally allowed to divorce their spouse without any notification is a pure asshole move on the person and a country that permits those actions. IMHO