UN official: Divorces high in GCC societies

December 03, 2013 - 7:29:16 am


The Minister of Development Planning and Statistics H E Dr Saleh bin Mohammed Al Nabit delivering the opening speech at the Qatar National Convention Centre yesterday. Salim Matramkot
DOHA: GCC societies as a whole have a high rate of divorce with Kuwait topping the region and Qatar trailing it, a UN official said yesterday, calling for effective measures to combat the social evil.

The rate of divorce in Kuwait is 37 percent while the ratio in Qatar is slightly less at over 34 percent, according to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Regional Director for Arab States, Mohamed Abdel Ahad.

He was addressing a seminar on the ‘Impact of Changing Population Dynamics on the Arab Family’ held by the Doha International Family Institute.

In the UAE, the rate of divorce is 26 percent with Bahrain following with a percentage of 24, said Ahad. 

One of the negative impacts of the high divorce rate is that one out of every 10 divorced women in the region has to fend for herself and her children. “She is the lone bread-winner or her family.”

Talking about Arab societies in general, the official said the situation in Syria didn’t portend well for the welfare of the family.

Some 6.5 million people have been displaced and another 2.5 million were living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

Qatar’s Minister for Development Planning and Statistics, H E Dr Saleh bin Mohamed Al Nabit, who opened the seminar told reporters later that the rate of divorce in Qatar was 34.8 percent. 

“It’s worrisome,” he said, adding that Qatar was taking effective steps to check the phenomenon. Tension between old and new was to blame for it, he said.

Social values were crumbling under the onslaught of modernity, he suggested. 

He said the number of unmarried women was also on the rise in the country.

Nadir Qabbani, from Silatech, said unemployment being a high 27 percent in the Arab world was the root-cause of delayed marriages. The number of unmarried women in the entire Arab world has been increasing, he said.

The Peninsula
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