5% of foreign women who married Saudis are maids

5% of foreign women who married Saudis are maids
In this file photo, a Saudi man stands in front of a wedding dress at a shop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 24 July 2016

5% of foreign women who married Saudis are maids

5% of foreign women who married Saudis are maids

JEDDAH: Five percent of 160 marriages of Saudi men to foreign women in 2013 and 2014 were to domestic workers, says a Ministry of Justice survey.
The Civil Status Court in Jeddah witnesses the signing of a marriage contract between a domestic worker and her sponsor after the man obtains permission from the relevant bodies that allows him to marry the foreigner and the domestic worker gets authorization from her family to facilitate the marriage procedures, said sources.
The survey said of the 160 marriages, 90 were with Moroccan women, 30 with Indonesian women, 13 with Filipinas, 22 with Sri Lankan women and five with Tunisian women.
Ahmad Al-Mabi, member of the ministry’s governance committee, said marriage procedures are similar to those followed for marrying Saudi women: The man has to apply to the governorate, which in turn refers the application to the Interior Ministry; after the approval, it is sent to the Civil Status court, which oversees the signing of the contract.
He said domestics need authorization from their guardians through their consulates/embassies.
He said Saudis marry maids either because the wife is ill or neglects her husband, or because many women leave the running of the house to the maid, which gives them the chance to get closer to their sponsors.
Psychologist Hani Al-Ghamidi said when a man marries his domestic worker, people criticize him and the community rejects the idea, but if one looks at the situation from a humane point of view, a man marrying such a woman is perfectly normal.
He added that working women might not look after their husbands the way they should, while domestic workers who are always there, attract the attention of the men, which leads to such marriages.
Al-Ghamidi confirmed that there are many stories of illegal relations between domestics and sponsors, but there are no clear figures.