Saudi divorce rate high: The ‘message’ is clear — stop abusing social media
JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR
Published — Saturday 9 May 2015
Social media networks including Facebook and WhatsApp are playing a big role in increasing the number of divorce cases in Saudi Arabia. According to one report, more than 30,000 divorces take place in the Kingdom every year and 82 every day.
The Justice Ministry reported 33,954 divorce cases in 2014. Makkah region accounted for the largest number of 9,954 cases while Jeddah topped among Saudi cities with 5,306 cases.
Fadhil Al-Omani, a Saudi researcher, identified 10 main reasons for the increasing number of divorce cases in the country including the misuse of Internet and social media that triggers distrust, especially among new couples.
Other reasons include a lack of understanding among the couple, cultural and educational differences, extramarital affairs and negligence of wives and husbands in carrying out their duties in addition to financial and family problems.
Dr. Musfir Al-Malees, a family consultant, said social networking sites have contributed to at least 25 percent of divorce cases in the Kingdom.
According to a survey covering marriage officials, 20 percent of divorces take place as a result of extramarital affairs unveiled through the exchange of messages and photos on the social media, he said.
Analyst Badr Almotawa said the government and social institutions have taken up the issue seriously. “The Shoura is currently discussing a proposal that insists new couples undergo a special training course before marriage. This will play an important role in reducing divorce cases,” he told Arab News.
Almotawa said the number of divorce cases is increasing not only in Saudi Arabia, but also in other countries because of a deterioration in moral values. “This is a serious issue and all should work together to reduce the number of divorce cases in our society, especially religious leaders,” he said.