The high rate of divorce threatens Saudi society

The high rate of divorce threatens Saudi society

Ayman Al-Hammad

OFFICIAL statistics show that courts all over the country issued around 40,000 divorce certificates last year, which means that over 100 men and women were divorced every day. Marriages are being threatened by the increasing rate of divorce. We need to find the real reasons behind this and solve this problem or else our society may disintegrate.

Decades ago when lives were simple and living conditions were not as good as today, the institute of marriage was held in high esteem and the matrimonial bond was considered sacred. Just thinking about divorce was tantamount to a disaster because back then people used to know the consequences of divorce and how it could devastate entire families.
However, nowadays, with better living conditions and higher education levels, marriage is no longer being viewed as something sacred. Men divorce their wives through text messages, WhatsApp messages and emails. Can you believe that?

Of course, divorce is legal and it can give married partners a better chance to start anew. However, its increase in our society signals a big problem. The social and economic consequences of the high rate of divorce are significant and can affect people and the government. Large numbers of unmarried women, children from broken homes and the financial losses associated with failed marriages can pressure societies and detract from the value of the matrimonial bond.

Let us not forget that divorce is the beginning of other problems such as those concerned with child custody, alimony, social insurance, etc. All of these are burdens on the government and society. Without finding the real cause for the increasing rate of divorce and dealing with it once and for all, our society will continue to pay a hefty price for this problem.

We need to prepare young men and women for marriage and make premarital courses a must. The ministries of Justice and Labor and Social Affairs can work together to make such course mandatory and raise public awareness about them. I believe such courses are as important as premarital medical checkups. Malaysia, which has a population of over 30 million, introduced a new program called the “Marriage Permit.” The divorce rate used to be 30 percent before this program and today after 10 years it is 8 percent. It is clear that