Arab countries are experiencing a sharp increase in divorce cases, according to the British newspaper The Economist.
According to experts quoted by this media, the financial independence of women and the new legislation allowing women to file for divorce are among the main factors of this strong increase.
“Once frowned upon, divorce is becoming more and more common. While rates have fallen in the West [partly because more and more couples never marry], they continue to climb in the Middle East,” reports The Economist.
Nearly 50% of marriages in Kuwait end in divorce, a higher proportion than in the United States. And a third of marriages end in divorce in Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
It was also found that divorce patterns are changing, with men ceasing to be the initiators of divorce in Arab countries. In Morocco, for example, “almost as many women as men initiate a separation”, writes the British media.
Women increasingly financially independent
The divorce application procedure, which is becoming easier for women, would partly explain this sharp increase in divorce rates. In Egypt, for example, separations have more than doubled since the process was made easier for women in 2000.
The simplification of divorce procedures is a movement that has also affected other Arab countries, such as Algeria, Jordan and Morocco.
The Economist also notes that women are increasingly financially independent, but above all that the pressures of family patriarchy or those of religious authorities weigh less and less on women’s lives and the choice to divorce.
Another important element: divorce costs are cheaper in the Arab world than in the United States, for example. Therefore, the dissolution of marriage is inexpensive for both parties.
In 2015, the Dubai Statistic Center stated that the number of divorces increased by 40% between 2011 and 2013 in Dubai. No fewer than 1,255 divorce certificates were issued in 2013, compared to 896 in 2011.
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