KSA divorce rate considerably fell in recent years

Updated 24 December 2012
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KSA divorce rate considerably fell in recent years

Saudi Arabia has the lowest divorce rate in the Gulf region according to a statement made by the Ministry of Justice. “There is no basis for the notion that divorce is a phenomenon in the Kingdom. Current divorce rates are not worrisome and have fallen considerably in recent years,” a statement of the ministry said recently.
More than 60 percent of the cases presented before the ministry’s reconciliation offices have been successfully resolved, a local daily reported yesterday.
“This shows the success of Sharia’s alternative divorce litigation methods. The reconciliation offices also help reduce cases related to custody, guardianship and expenses, which previously used to end up in the law courts,” the statement said.
Nasser Al-Aud, adviser to the Minister of Justice and the ministry’s social services administration supervisor, said 1,295 divorce cases were settled through reconciliation in 2010 and the statistics for 2011 will be published before June of next year. Riyadh province witnessed the highest number of peaceful reconciliations with 797 cases in 2010; Jazan followed with 316 cases; and Makkah came in third position with 99 cases. No reconciliation instances were recorded in the Eastern Province for that year, while there was one case in Baha and four in the Northern Border Province, Al-Aud said.
“We have observed a steady rise in peacefully settled divorce cases in the country over the past five years. In 2009 there was a 22 percent rise in the number of reconciled cases, and a 13 percent increase in the following year,”Al-Aud said attributing the improvement in divorce rates to the various social programs adopted by the ministry in the past few years.
Al-Aud added that the reconciliation offices in the law courts are undertaking the corporate responsibility services of the ministry.
The ministry has signed a number of agreements with the Ministry of Social Affairs to create awareness campaigns for improving family relations. Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice plans to recruit more psychology and sociology graduates for family counseling jobs. These social science graduates will also be assigned to work as advisers to judges on family cases. The ministry is offering special training to officials working in the reconciliation offices and plans on establishing female sections, in addition to appointing 370 female employees in courts.
The ministry is cooperating with foreign universities to organize advanced training programs for officials working in the reconciliation offices.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.