She was convicted of the sexual abuse and murder of her seven-year-old step-daughter.
A video showed how it took three blows to complete the execution, while the woman screamed “I did not kill. I did not kill.” It has now been removed by YouTube as part of its policy on “shocking and disgusting content”.
There are two ways to behead people according to Mohammed al-Saeedi, a human rights activist: “One way is to inject the prisoner with painkillers to numb the pain and the other is without the painkiller,” he told.
“This woman was beheaded without painkillers – they wanted to make the pain more powerful for her.”
The Saudi Ministry of the Interior said in a statement that it believed the sentence was warranted due to the severity of the crime.
The beheading is part of an alarming trend, which has seen the kingdom execute seven people in the first two weeks of this year. In 2014 the number of executions rose to 87, from 78 in 2013.
Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger, was due to receive the second set of 50 lashes today for insulting Islam, but it has been postponed on medical grounds.
Ali A Rizvi, one of the blogger's best best friends told The Independent: "His wife told me that the lashings have been postponed, but it is only temporary."
He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison after creating a liberal, secular website, Free Saudi Liberals. He faces lashings every Friday for the next 18 weeks, until the sentence is completed.
The beheading sparked angry reaction online. On Twitter, many condemned the Saudi government for its cruel ways of executing convicted criminals.
Andrew Beckett @AndrewBeckett
Horrific beheading of woman by our barbaric "ally" Saudi Arabia. #NothingToDoWithIslam
Seeing people executed by an Islamic Sharia law trial directly in public wherever they are, is this justice for us?
Paddy Irish man @pattherat2014
Saudi Arabia beheading more foreign workers this week. This is the most barbaric nation on earth and it must be stopped. #terroriststate
Saudi Arabia the world is watching you, we see you flogging ppl and beheading woman. We're judging you and find you wanting.
Julian Richards @Julian_F_R
She was a victim of state barbarism RT @DVATW: Saudi's ninth beheading of 2015.Saudi sits on UN Human Right's Council
Angela Lo Rosso @AngelaLoRosso
If you wonder where #ISIS get their beheading practices from, look no further than Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism at it's most ugliest.
Saudi Arabia's legal system is based on Sharia. Crimes like armed robbery, drug-related offences, sorcery, adultery, murder, rape and apostasy from Islam invite death penalty.