Saudi law enables discrimination against women
8 March 2023
New Personal Status Law Codifies Discrimination Against Women
One year ago, on International Women’s Day, Saudi Arabia passed its first Personal Status Law (PSL), which entered into force on 18 June 2022. Prior to that, Saudi Arabia did not have a codified PSL, as matters related to family life were subject to the discretionary application of the rules of Sharia (Islamic law) and interpretations of Islamic texts by a male-dominated judiciary.
Amnesty International has conducted a detailed analysis of the PSL and has found that, while it introduces some positive reforms, it perpetuates discrimination against women in most aspects of family life, including the male guardianship system, custody, inheritance, marriage, and divorce.