One in four end in divorce
Unbelievable, and mind you, this is a statistic from Saudi Arabia. Well, I can understand such statistic recorded in places like Brazil or some Latin American regions, where sun, beaches and well-tan babes are their renowned trademark, but in Saudi??
Reuters, 23 Dec 2006, JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Nearly one in four marriages in the conservative Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia ends in divorce, a newspaper quoted the Justice Ministry as saying on Saturday.
For 105,066 marriage contracts registered in 2005, 24,000 divorce cases were recorded by the ministry, Asharq Al Awsat newspaper said, quoting a ministry report. Officials at the Justice Ministry could not be reached for comment but the statistics come amid intense debate over the surge in divorce rates in the birthplace of Islam. The High Court in the Red Sea port of Jeddah said earlier this year divorce rates in the city had risen by 60 percent over the last two years against 39 percent in the capital Riyadh and 18 percent in the Eastern Province, home to a Shia minority.
Saudi Arabia, which follows an austere form of Sunni Islam, allows men to repudiate their wives.‘It is impossible to have healthy relationships in Saudi Arabia. The laws have given men full authority while women are deprived of their rights and freedom,’ rights activist Wajiha Al Howeidar told Reuters.
While a few women have grown up in relatively liberal homes and refrain from marriage at an early age, many see in marriage a way out of protective parental homes, Al Howeidar said. ‘They end up in arranged marriages where there are no affinities and no romance,’ she said.