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New protections for Saudi women

Saudi women [File photo]
Saudi women [File photo]

According to the Saudi Newspaper Okaz, during the last ten days the Saudi Ministry of Justice issued four important decisions and proposals to limit the abuse of women.

The legislative authorities approved ten procedures to control the marriages of minors after the Ministry of Labour submitted proposals in this regard. Among these was a limitation on “permission to marry a girl who is 17 years of age or less” requiring the review of a special court and that “the marriage request should be presented by the girl, her legal guardian or her mother.”

The Council of Ministers also approved the organisation of a fund for divorcees and their children, which is also aligned with the proposal from the Ministry of Justice.

According to the Saudi newspaper, the law aims at funding the beneficiaries without quickly and disbursing to the fund to divorcees before the issuance of a permission to spend it. The board of directors of the fund will determine a temporary alimony for divorcees and the convicted spouse will pay the amount that the fund has already paid on his behalf.

The supreme council of the judiciary has also added a model in the Ministry of Justice’s system of finalizing cases under the name of proving custody.

Read: Saudi man jailed for 19 months for setting his wife alight

The fourth decision affects women who want to practice law. The law diploma, which lasts for three years, ends with granting the trainee or the intern a license to practice law. The programs offered by some lawyers are not linked to any scientific methodology or professional training, causing the trainees to waste both time and money, and making them work on assignments that do not relate to their job.

This comes at a time where Saudi women represent about 30 per cent of the labour market and where the capital of women in the country exceeded the 100 billion riyals and their estate investments 120 billion riyals.

Since the last council elections held last year, 17 Saudi women held seats in municipal councils and 30 women in the Shura Council. In education, Saudi women constitute 51 per cent of higher education students and 35,000 women study abroad.

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