A number of Saudi women who remarried have kept their marriage a secret from the concerned authorities so as to continue cashing in on the monthly financial assistance provided by the social security to single mothers.
By not registering their second marriage in the courts, the women have actually violated the regulations of the social security agency that make it imperative on beneficiaries to update their status if changed. Their new husbands are aware of this fraud and have in fact have given their tacit consent.
“These women prefer to keep their divorcee title at the social security registry to continue cashing in on the monthly social security assistance,” Al-Madinah daily said in a recent report.
A number of these women told the newspaper that they only opted to marry again because of their poor financial situation.
“I have the right to continue receiving my monthly social assistance of SR800 following my second marriage. I made it a condition on my second husband not to register our marriage in the court or add my name to his family card so that I may be able to continue receiving the assistance,” said Muna Z., a Saudi woman who got remarried.
She said she had no income other than the social security assistance so she made it a condition on her new husband not to reveal their marriage to the concerned authorities.
Sanaa A., who had five children from her first husband, said when her second husband proposed to her she made it a condition that he does not register their marriage in courts. “I am spending the monthly financial assistance of SR800 on my children who are living with me,” she said.
She said her present husband does not spend any money on her so she is using the assistance to cater to the material needs of herself and her children.
Zahra A.M. said she was obliged to remarry because she had no place to go. “My second husband has a wife. We told her that we will not announce our marriage and she readily agreed,” she said.
Salwa M. said she has been benefiting from the social security assistance for 18 months without anyone knowing about it.
“My second husband only provided me with accommodation so I am using the social security money for my expenses,” she said.
She made it clear that the social assistance was a bonus from the government so no one had the right to prevent her from getting it. “It is true that I am not a divorcee anymore but I need the money to buy my personal needs, including clothes, makeup and other essentials,” she said.
Lawyer and legal consultant Adil Hammad said, “This is a gross violation of the law. The social security organization has the right not only to stop paying them monthly assistance but to get reimbursed all money paid to them after their remarriage,” he said.
Director General of Social Affairs in Makkah Abdullah Al-Tawi said any woman who does not update her status after marriage will be violating the law and as such should be deprived of this assistance.
“When a woman is remarried she loses her title of divorcee. The social security agency then has the right not only to stop paying her the assistance but also to regain all previous payments made to her after her second marriage,” he said.