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Saudi dating system

Thousands of people have circulated a short animation video designed to show the restrictions that Saudi Arabia's male guardianship system places on women.

A man can divorce his wife simply by saying ‘I divorce you’ three times.

He can rescind the divorce if this was done in the heat of the moment, but only if the wife agrees (and only on three occasions! On the other hand, even if a wife has good reason to seek a divorce (e.g.

Her son declines to give her permission because he doesn't "feel like it".

A third shows a young woman being released from a female juvenile detention centre and hugging her mother, but having to return after her father refuses to grant permission for her release, saying: "She brought shame upon us.

Traditionally, the ideal marriage was tribal, related families encouraging their offspring to marry cousins or other relatives in order to increase and strengthen the tribe, or occasionally to marry into another tribe in order to heal rifts between families.

Another reason for such marriages was that families knew the background of the partner.

In 2009 and again in 2013, Saudi Arabia agreed to take some steps to decrease guardians’ control over women, including no longer requiring permission for women to work and passing a law criminalising domestic abuse. They cannot study abroad on a government scholarship without male guardian approval, and a male relative must accompany them abroad while they studies, though this requirement is not always enforced.