Saudi women to get copy of marriage contracts


Saudi women tying the knot will now get a copy of their marriage contracts, a privilege that has been exclusive to men in the ultra-conservative kingdom, justice ministry said on Monday. According to a directorate issued by Justice Minister Walid al-Samaani, clerics who register marriage contracts in the Muslim kingdom will now have to hand a copy to the bride "to ensure her awareness of her rights and the terms of the contract".

The decision aims to "protect the rights of the woman and facilitate procedures for her," the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency. It said the decision took into consideration that a woman would need a copy of her marriage contract in case of a dispute with her husband and in court.

Women need the permission of their male guardians to get married in Saudi Arabia, which applies a strict interpretation of Islam. They also need that permission to travel and work, in a country where they are not allowed to drive and have to cover from head to toe when in public.    (AFP)

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