30 lashes, 10 days' jail for Saudi man who slapped wife: Report

RIYADH (AFP) - A Saudi man who slapped his wife has earned himself a flogging and jail sentence, in a rare ruling in the Gulf kingdom that imposes stiff restrictions on women, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.

A court in the town of Safwa, in the eastern Qatif district, sentenced the man to 10 days of jail and 30 lashes, the Al-Sharq daily said.

The judge also allowed the woman to attend the flogging and ordered her husband to enrol in a course on dealing with partners.

The woman, in her 20s, had lodged a complaint against her husband after he slapped her during an argument. The man admitted hitting her, saying his wife "was rude to his parents".

The ruling is very uncommon in the ultra-conservative kingdom, where men usually get the upper hand, while women are dependent on their male guardians in most aspects of their lives.

Women need a close male relative to accompany them if they enter government buildings and courts.

Saudi women are also banned from driving and obliged to cover themselves from head to toe when they are in public.

The King Khalid Foundation, which is a Saudi charity, launched in May the kingdom's first anti-domestic violence advertising campaign.