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article imageSaudi Arabia considers law to protect women divorced in absence

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By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 21, 2012 in World
A member of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council has proposed a new law to give greater protection to divorced women, necessitated by the increase in men divorcing their spouses without bothering to inform them.
In some instances the men continue to sleep with their ex-wives who are unaware that their true marital status is divorced. Under Saudi's strict sharia law, men who continue to have sexual relations with their ex-wife following divorce are considered to be commiting adulterous behaviour.
Emirates 247 reported Talal al Bakri of the Shura Council explained the need for a new law in the circumstances, saying “I will remain one of the strongest advocates of a law that will safeguard the rights of divorced Saudi women, including alimony, child custody and other things.”
"This law has also become necessary given the fact that many men divorce their wives without telling them while they continue to sleep with them for months….this is not fair because since marriage is completed with the consent of the two, divorce should also be completed in the presence of the two…I am vehemently against divorce in the wife’s absence.”
Saudi women are permanently the property of a male guardian, be it father, brother, husband or other male family member including a son, but to to be unaware of their actual marital status is shocking. According to Foreign Policy the Saudi justice system "is patriarchal, bordering on the misogynistic."
In December Digital Journal reported on one such case of a woman who had been divorced by her husband, unbeknown to her, whose husband continued to have marital relations with her. However she turned the tables when she discovered his deception by demanding he be stoned to death under sharia law, for adultery.
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