Divorce is on the rise in Saudi Arabia, with one in five marriages breaking down, according to the General Authority of Statistics – and the real figure estimated to be significantly higher.
Mawada Charitable Association works to reduce these numbers, and minimise the negative impact of divorce on society. Through a multi-pronged approach that includes awareness programmes to prepare newlyweds for married life, support for those experiencing domestic conflict, and aid for divorced women and their children, it focuses on promoting family stability.
Alongside these programmes, Mawada also helps young female graduates to qualify in family law.
Since its inception in Riyadh in 2010, Mawada’s programmes have reached 60,000 people, and provided more than 25,000 hours of voluntary legal advice. King Khalid Foundation’s three-year incubation programme – which included strategic planning, programme development, financial assistance and improving board governance – has played a critical role in scaling up their efforts, says Khloud Al Tamimi, Mawada’s general manager.
“We plan to open a further six centers where families who are experiencing divorce can attend and access support,” she says, "we want to benefit the children of families in the Riyadh region.
"Through our work, we are hoping to reduce divorce rates, and mitigate its effect on society.”