In Saudi Arabia it seems that a man has a lot of leeway over the various reasons and ways he may divorce his wife.
For example, in early 2012 a Saudi man divorced his wife by loudspeaker as he could not tolerate the fact that she enjoyed watching a Turkish soap opera.
Saudi women have been notified of divorce by text message too.
The latest incident of a Saudi woman finding herself divorced by her husband has to do with the social media network, Twitter. The Saudi husband, on learning that his wife had a Twitter account, gave her an ultimatum – him or her account. To his surprise, she chose her Twitter account . When he divorced her, she returned to her parent’s home in Jeddah.
I’m bothered by what I call these ‘snap divorces’ on multiple fronts. To begin with, such divorces just highlight the power that the Saudi husband has over his wife. If she does not toe the line that he deems as acceptable, then he can simply and easily divorce her. He does not even have to see her or say the words directly to her to make it happen.
Yet on the other hand, if the Saudi wife wanted to divorce her husband, it is not as simple as saying “Talaq” three times. She must go to the courts and be granted a divorce by the attending judge. If the judge does not believe there is sufficient cause for a divorce, he can order her to remain with her husband.
Secondly, learning of some of the reasons and ways that a man may divorce a woman seems to illustrate a lack of seriousness about marriage in general. To callously divorce a woman publicly by loudspeaker over outrage of a tv show she has enjoyed or because she uses social media spanks of insecurity on the part of the man in addition to a big problem in communications. It also raises questions on the value of marriage.
The custom in Saudi Arabia is for an arranged marriage. While some couples may know one another prior to marriage, many remain relative strangers until the wedding. As a result, they have no knowledge of each other’s interests, key values, desires, personalities or what makes the other tick as an individual. Due to segregation, neither may be experienced in how to conduct even the most basic interaction with someone of the opposite sex. Let’s face it, one does not interact in the same manner with a mother, father, sibling, aunt or uncle as with someone with whom you’ve not grown up with and seen on a regular basis.
Many Saudi couples will have a greater loyalty and protective instinct to their own family in which they were raised rather than to a spouse with whom they’ve been joined.
As a result, Saudi Arabia continues to have one of the highest divorce rates in the world. According to WikiIslam, Saudi Arabia has the second highest divorce rate in the world with an average of 20 divorces per day. Most divorces occur within the first three years of marriage and polygamy is responsible for 55 per cent of the divorces.
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