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Mon 18 May 2015 11:23 AM

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Saudi women demand info on fiance's history

Young Saudi females argue divorce rates would decline if they were given access to security, health and legal information relating to their prospective husbands

Saudi women demand info on fiance's history
(Getty Images)

Young Saudi women are demanding access to security, health and legal information relating to their prospective husbands before agreeing to marry them.

They claim being more informed before tying the knot would reduce the kingdom’s increasingly high divorce rate.

Arab News said Saudi Arabia would become the first country in the world to legislate to give women the right to personal information about their prospective husband.

Counsellor Najwa Salah told the Arabic daily the proposal would help reduce relationship issues but warned women should not dismiss a future fiancé because of past concerns.

“Women shouldn’t seek to know every detail of the man’s past as he could've repented his acts and is looking to have a good future,” she was quoted as saying.

Salah also warned forcing men to reveal personal information may encourage them to marry outside of Saudi Arabia, leading to a decline in pure Saudi families.

However, lawmaker Dr Ahmed Al Muabbi criticised the proposal as being contradictory to Islam.

“Marriage is not a way to reveal all secrets,” he said, adding that he considered sharing such personal information as a way to tighten women’s grip on men.

Revealing his past may also reduce a man’s confidence or humiliate him, he said.

“It's almost impossible to find a man without any flaws or problems,” Al Muabbi said.

Abdul Rahman Al Qarrash, from the National Family Safety Program, said the step would be pioneering and a bold move in a society known to oppress women’s opinions and their right to choose a partner.

“I’m all for the idea so that a woman knows who she is marrying, especially that fathers traditionally only consider the groom’s financial status to determine whether he can be a good husband or not. Second in line is the groom’s degree of abidance by religious chores,” he was quoted as saying.

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