Saudi Arabia reports more than 350,000 couples divorced in 2022

* 30 to 34-year age bracket saw the highest separation rate

Fatai Ahmed with Agency reports


A report said more than 350,000 marriages ended in divorce in 2022.

More than 350,000 marriages ended in divorce last year, according to the Saudi Women’s Report for 2022, issued by the kingdom’s General Authority of Statistics.

According to the report, the 30 to 34-year age bracket saw the highest separation rate – with more than 54,000 women being divorced.

However, according to the kingdom’s Ministry of Justice, the total number of marriages in Saudi Arabia reached 150,117 in 2020, increasing by 8.9 per cent compared to 2019.

Despite this, the figures represent a huge surge in separations; the total number of divorces recorded in 2020 was 57,595.

The statistics also show how the situation for women in the kingdom continues to improve, with unemployment falling by 15.4 per cent in Q4 2022, showing a tangible improvement from previous years.

“Women are seeing unprecedented growth and they are contributing majorly to every sector – from finance, health, education to astrophysics,” Bayan Zahran, a Saudi business graduate in Jeddah, tells The National.

“Saudi women are leading the change in the kingdom and especially their (personal) lives, including marriage or divorce,” she says. “We are not a limiting or conservative society that people may assume. Women make the call when it comes to marriage in Saudi Arabia, we have more rights than in many countries in the world.”

This increases the overall rate of female labour market participation to a strong 36 per cent – with a notable increase in contributions to the country’s economy made by women, rising from 27.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 30.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“We are driving our own cars to our new jobs, and no one can stop us,” says Ragad Khalid, a Saudi retailer in Jeddah.

The number of self-employment documents issued to women increased dramatically in 2021, rising to 961,189 from just 7,997 in 2019. Women were allowed to register as self-employed in 2018.


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