Islam authorizes women to seek divorce on their own, even against the wishes of their husbands. Khula (not to be confused with Khulwa, the improper mixing of the sexes in seclusion) is difficult and carries social opprobrium. Like any divorce action, it carries costs both monetary and emotional.
The headline of the story focuses on Saudi Arabia, but as the story makes clear, the problems of obtaining this divorce are also commonplace in S. Asia. The upsetting of the male:female power relationship is not something those currently with power embrace. But if it is necessary, then it is necessary. That it is a right given to women through their religion should be acknowledge and at least the bureaucratic impediments should be removed.
Khula: An unending fight for women in the Kingdom
Mariam Nihal | Saudi Gazette
Many women living in the Kingdom told Saudi Gazette they struggle for years to attain khula (the Islamic right of a woman to divorce or separate from her husband under certain circumstances).
Many cases of women seeking khula are related to child custody battles and their struggle to achieve their Islamic right to separation from their husbands.
Most expatriate women said they are scared to file for khula as they subsequently suffer from the social stigma attached to it.
According to Shariah law women are allowed to seek a divorce from their partners, as it is the right of a wife to seek a release from her marriage even if the husband refuses to agree.
After divorce, the husband is responsible for paying for the children’s education and looking after their financial needs.