More Mid-East Divorce
When we last examined another country in the Middle East that was experiencing the realization that divorce is a fact of modern life, the subject nation was Turkey. Now another nation in the region is learning that as a nation becomes more modern, the national divorce rate will probably rise dramatically. Now the news is coming from the Gulf Times published in the tiny nation of Qatar. Apparently the rising rate of divorce in Qatar is now raising eyebrows and a bit of alarm in some circles.
As reported in the Times, the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) in Qatar has organized a series of meetings to discuss new ways to slow down the rising divorce rate in Qatar as part of celebration of the annual Family Day celebration that is observed on April 15 each year.
The event marks the first meeting of the council to discuss the many new challenges Qatari families face in today’s changing modern world. A two-day meeting schedule was set up to discuss proposed policies with the participation of a diverse group of local experts along with regional and international specialists in the field. The goals included identifying the different causes of divorce in Qatar and to discuss the effects of the growing phenomenon on the family and society in general.
The SCFA’s secretary general, Noor al-Malki, said Qatari families are the target of societal changes that threaten their coherence and stability. Noor al-Malki also said divorce was a menace to the whole Qatar society’s security and stability.
A Justice from the Supreme Judicial Council, made a statement that said judges should give couples more chances to reconsider their divorce decisions with the help of social and family experts. Because Justice Fawwaz al-Jattal has experienced many amicable settlements which have prevented divorces in the past, he said that delaying divorce cases could be helpful but added “However, in some specific cases, the disputes between husband and wife were difficult to solve and delaying the divorce does not necessarily help them.” Al-Jattal said the most common reason cited for divorce in Qatari society today was the husband’s financial inability to fulfill his household’s needs and provide for his family. He added, “The Qatari wife can endure living in the house of her husband’s family for a short period, but when she senses there would be no change in the situation, problems begin to surface and that may end up in a divorce.”
A spokesman from the Qatari Family Consulting Center said that statistics showed the state’s new general strategy to reduce the total of divorce cases by 15% included restricting by law, the minimum age for marriage and also to better secure adequate housing for those women who did get divorced.
Mona al-Khulaifi from the Family Consulting Center said that while 12% of the FCC’s consultations concerned post-divorce problems, the Center was still able to solve nearly 30% of the cases related to marital disputes even though many did result in amicable divorces. Divorce problems in Middle Eastern countries are not new and they won’t be erased overnight. More nations in the region are beginning to address the problem with the establishment of new offices and councils to address marital disputes in the early stages and making more funds available to help new couples that might be struggling with both marriage and modernization simultaneously.