Women seek legal route to assert personal rights

Updated 22 November 2015
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Women seek legal route to assert personal rights

JEDDAH: There has been a rise in the country’s courts hearing personal rights cases involving women, including divorce, alimony, visitation rights and custody of children, according to experts.
They are also likely to be involved in cases of khula, where guardians or parents refuse marriage offers from suitors, and adultery, the experts were quoted as saying in a local publication recently.
Majed Garoub, a lawyer, said most lawsuits involving women revolve around personal status laws, mostly divorce. Women are also involved in business-related cases as owners of firms, he said.
“Recently we have seen, unfortunately, cases of sexual harassment added to the list as women are increasingly finding jobs or are involved in various business sectors,” he said.
Garoub said the media should do more to educate women about their rights. Awareness campaigns were also the duty of civil society organizations specializing in issues involving women and the family, he said.
Abdulaziz Al-Shabrami, a lawyer and former judge, said women now outnumber men in almost every sector of the economy. “Therefore, it is only natural that there would be more lawsuits involving women than men,” he said.
“The most important lawsuits linked to women are personal status cases such as marriage, divorce, visitation rights, alimony and others,” he added.
The lawyer said that the media has played a positive role in creating awareness about women and their rights, and how they can seek redress for their grievances through the country’s courts.
Mazen Al-Oufi, a lawyer, said litigation is a way to guarantee that women’s rights are protected under Islamic law, “without bias or discrimination. Women can exert this right and demand redress by choosing the legal representative of her choice.”
“Our legal system gives women an extra edge over men in the litigation process in terms of alimony, custody and visitation rights, by allowing her to file the lawsuit from her place of residence if the defendant lives in another location.”
Khulod Al-Rawashdeh, a lawyer, said most cases involving women are linked to child custody, khula, alimony, adultery and other family issues.
“Recently, courts have been considering new lawsuits brought by women against their husbands who take their salaries.”
She said that some men allow their wives to work on condition they hand over their entire salaries or pay all household expenses, including for drivers and maids. This results in women filing for divorce, she said.
She said there has been a 30 percent rise in lawsuits filed by women.
“This is probably because women are now more aware of their legal rights. However, about 79 percent of women go to courts at a very late stage because they are ignorant of their rights,” she said.
Lolwah Al-Buraikan, assistant professor at Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University, said women are mostly involved in divorce cases.
She said many working women do not have time to try to heal failing relationships through discussions.
In addition, women who are housewives seek divorce because they know they can get certain social security benefits from the government.
Others want to get out of their marriages because their husbands may be considering marrying a second wife. Al-Buraikan said there is no longer a great stigma attached to divorce in this country.
However, more people are getting divorced because of the abuse of social media.
Many men are now addicted to having relationships online, resulting in women feeling neglected and insulted, she said.


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center launches “Kingdom of Energy” podcast

Updated 24 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center launches “Kingdom of Energy” podcast

  • The program targets decision makers, specialists and workers in the energy sectors

RIYADH: The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has inaugurated a podcast program, titled “Kingdom of Energy”, through which specialized researchers can talk about energy economics, policies, techniques and related environmental issues.

The podcast is an opportunity for people interested in the field of energy to listen to the opinions of specialists in the field, including workers or partners of the center, whether local or international cadres.

The program targets decision makers, specialists and workers in the energy sectors through a new platform on the center’s website, allowing visitors to listen to podcast episodes.

The program is working on producing “Kingdom of Energy” episodes on a regular basis. The first episode is now available on the website in English, and another series is to be produced in Arabic.

KAPSARC is a non-profit research center that conducts independent research into global energy economics, policies, techniques and related environmental studies. The center seeks to find solutions for the most-effective and productive use of energy to promote economic and social growth locally, regionally and internationally.