A Saudi official is proposing a law to protect the rights of divorced local women, saying many Saudi husbands continued to sleep with their ex-wives after divorce without telling them they have been divorced.
Talal al Bakri, a member of Shura council (appointed parliament) said the new law is needed because of a sharp increase in divorce cases in the Gulf kingdom, the largest Arab economy with a population of more than 27 million.
“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,” he told the Saudi Arabic language daily 'Sabq'.
“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.”
Bakri said the Shura had already approved a recommendation urging the competent Saudi authorities to enact laws to organize divorces in the country.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, with an average one divorce cases every half an hour in 2010.
Official data showed the Kingdom recorded 18,765 divorces during 2010, a rate of more than 35 per cent of the marriages.