Divorce, a subject which was once a social stigma, has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is seen that married couples are walking away from their marriages for varied reasons. Earlier, there were very few cases of divorce and the main causes were adultery and domestic violence. In most cases, the women continued with their broken marriage for the sake of fear, kids and money. But, nowadays, women do not hesitate to call off their marriages. The rising trend is seen not only in the metropolises but also in the semi-urban and smaller cities, including the rural areas, where there may not be divorce in legal terms but women are seen living separately. What are the main causes of increase in divorce rates in India?
Common grounds of divorce
According to the Indian judicial system, the common grounds of divorces in which one of the partners can file for divorce are:
- Adultery : When either of the two is involved in sexual relationship outside marriage.
- Cruelty: When the man or the woman is subjected to any kind of physical and mental injury.
- Desertion: When one partner abandons the other for at least a period of two years.
- Conversion: Forced conversion of religion.
- Mental disorder/ venereal disease : If one partner suffers from mental disorder/insanity or from a serious communicable diseases.
- Leprosy : If one of the partners suffers from incurable form of leprosy
- Renunciation: If a spouse renounces all worldly affairs.
- Conjugal rights: Failure in observing conjugal rights for 2 years or more.
Recent trends in divorces in modern societies
- Divorce is not looked down upon in the society today. While initially divorce was a hush-hush matter, there is greater societal acceptance of divorcees in the modern families today.
- A divorced daughter is accepted with open arms by her parents and family.
- The very sanctity and importance of a relationship has gone down the drains. Young couples’ attitude towards marriage has changed.
- Increased number of DINK families. They do not hesitate to separate as they do not have to worry on how the separation will impact children.
- Professional rivalry between the partners is another cause of divorce. Either the man files for a divorce due to ego issues when he sees his wife more successful than him professionally. Or a professionally successful woman files for a divorce when she sees that her husband’s position is not at par with hers. Also there are chances of more extra-marital affairs in such cases and the end result is a divorce.
- Lack of compatibility and sluggish sex life between the two are also major causes of divorce.
Women empowerment: A major cause
The sum and substance of all the causes mentioned above is WOMEN EMPOWERMENT. With economic prosperity and rising incomes, with increased ego between the partners and professional competition, the number of divorce cases is increasing in India. Today, most young married couples have stopped giving value to marriages and for petty reasons, their married lives fall apart. On the basis of the grounds mentioned above as well as various other small reasons, young couples do not hesitate to file for divorce. Recent trend has shown that women are more upcoming in this matter.
Gone are those days when a woman stayed at home and tolerated all kinds of nonsense inflicted upon her by her husband and in-laws. She stayed in silence and did not walk away from her marriage for the fear of society and also because she was not financially independent, her parents won’t accept her and most important of all, who will look after the kids.
Things have changed now. Women have become more and more independent nowadays. More and more women have joined the professional bandwagon. With basic education and jobs in hand, they have become financially independent. In case of any marital discord, modern women do not hesitate to move away. Women are capable of sustaining themselves. It is reported that finance independence due to women empowerment is a major cause of increasing divorce rates in India .
What is the solution?
Does it mean that women should stay at home, give up their jobs and get busy in only household work? The answer is a big NO. Women empowerment needs to be encouraged. Our society has revolutionized with women empowerment. Empowering women does not mean competing with men. Empowering women means they have a right to freedom of speech and expression, they have a right to make decision in the family and if need be they have a right to earn for the family. There is no harm if a woman earns more than a man. She is earning for the family. There should not be any ego issues in that. A man should respect a woman who earns more than him and vice versa. Women empowerment has somehow played a role in increasing divorce rates but it cannot be the sole cause and the entire blame should not go to the women alone.
The actual solution lies in valuing a relationship, cooperating each other in good and bad times, and living together as good companions. Give your relationship some time instead of resorting to divorce immediately.