Having banned the practice of forced marriage in 2005, Saudi’s religious and political authorities have turned their focus to equalizing the legislation surrounding marriage contracts.
According to About Her various sources interviewed by Okaz, the country’s daily newspaper, there is speculation that the Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice is working towards a new process that will require women to review and consent to their contracts before they are finalized. In a bid to eliminate implications of coercion and to also consider the level of satisfaction afforded to brides-to-be, the new policies will grant women a greater sense of agency.
In addition to reviewing and consenting to the contract, Saudi’s new policies will also require women to explicitly state their contentment with their new prospective life partners, while giving them the opportunity to appoint a guardian throughout the process.
In essence, the move is another step in the right direction for the women of Saudi Arabia, ensuring greater visibility and involvement in what could arguably be the most important contract of their lives.
Lead image from Harper's Bazaar Bride A/W19. Photography by Greg Adamski. Styling by Tabitha Jane Glaysher. Editor: Nina Catt. Producer: Laura Prior. Model: Esther Rodriguez at Signature Element. Hair and Make-Up: Ania Poniatowska. Fashion Assistant: Joyce Gereige. Assistant producer: Brian Timmer. With special thanks to Al Faya Lodge