Women ask Saudi courts to force husbands pay breastfeeding fees
Thirteen women have filed cases over the past two years, asking to be compensated for breastfeeding
Saudi courts dealt with 13 cases filed over the past two years by women who wanted their husbands to pay them fees for breastfeeding their children.
Judicial experts said the average fee is SR300 a month. A former judge, Yousef Al-Salim, said the fee should be agreed between the husband and his wife.
In case this is not possible, then the fee is estimated according to the normal fee that women charge for breastfeeding other women’s babies.
Al-Salim explained that cases filed by women for breastfeeding are according to article 168 of the Shariah judicial system and that breastfeeding is a baby’s right.
He added that even divorced women have the right to ask for breastfeeding fees but that there are differences between scholars on this matter.
“The Shafi and Hanafi schools of thought give women the right to ask for breastfeeding fees, even if her husband has died.”
Legal consultant Ahmad Al-Jetaili said women’s rights are guaranteed by Shariah and women’s awareness of their rights is on the rise, as demonstrated by the breastfeeding cases.
He noted such cases are very rare in courts compared to those concerning personal affairs and added that the Ministry of Justice registered seven breastfeeding cases in 2012 and six cases during 2013.
The article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on May 1