Afsana Yesmen Aurthi
Lima’s (pseudonym) husband started torturing her physically from the third day of her marriage as he was a drug addict back in 2017. After one year of married life Lima filed for divorce. Abonty (pseudonym) was living happily with her husband. However, difficulties came when their first daughter was born. Abonty’s husband, Md Selim, always wanted a son as a first child. So, after the second daughter’s birth, Abonty’s husband filed for divorce.
Sumona (pseudonym), a varsity going girl, got married in 2016 when she was a first-semester student. Before getting married, her in-laws said she could continue her studies after marriage. But after the wedding, things have gone wrong. Her in-laws did not allow her to continue her study. Instead, they started to torture her physically & mentally.
The torture raised higher day by day. Finally, staying with in-laws after 11 months, Sumona filed a divorce with the support of her parents. This has become a common scenario in Bangladesh nowadays.
However, family difficulties are increasing day by day, which impacts the lives of children’s lives and causes economic and societal problems. Divorced people are more likely to feel depressed over time and mourn psychological changes due to a drop in the standard of life, present economic challenges, and a reduction in the availability of personal, dependable support.
In Dhaka, a divorce occurs every hour! An exclusive report recently revealed this startling fact. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the divorce rate application in the country has increased by a massive 34% in the last seven years. In Bangladesh, marriage remains the cornerstone of family life. In all religions, both men and women are encouraged to marry. Culture, civilisation, country, and religion recognise marriage as the only legal way.
A man or a woman may exercise their right to divorce based on the grounds specified in the law. Divorce is sometimes necessary to protect a man or woman from cruelty, danger, hardship, physical abuse, mental pressure, and excruciating suffering.
Despite this, it has many adverse effects on the husband, wife, family, society, and especially children. Moreover, divorce increases women and children’s vulnerability in patriarchal societies like Bangladesh, where women and children are vulnerable.
The divorce rate steadily increases in the United States of America, Israel, and Russia. Still, due to economic, social, and cultural factors, the divorce rate by women in Bangladesh is increasing daily, which is very alarming.
The scenario of divorce in Bangladesh:
The divorce rate is significantly greater among educated persons while far lower among the general public. According to a report, roughly 70000 divorces took place in the capital between 2010 and 2019, with 50 to 60 divorce petitions being filed daily.
Although divorce is allowed in Islam under certain circumstances, it discourages the dissolution of a marriage tie (Patwari, 2019), and divorce is prohibited under original Hindu law. As a result, divorce rates used to be more common among the illiterate and poor in Bangladesh but are currently increasing among all sections of the population.
The divorce rate increased over the last seven years, with the highest divorce rate in Barisal being 2.7 people per thousand and the lowest in Chittagong and Sylhet being 0.6 people per thousand. The majority of divorce applicants are women, and among the women, those who are more educated and economically independent are more numerous.
In Dhaka, divorce cases have reached a record high this year. Women file most divorce applications. Divorces in the capital exceed 1,000 per month. Experts say the number could reach lakhs if proper steps are taken to save marriages. More and more women are now coming out about their marital problems and seeking a solution.
In most cases, divorce is the result, they add. From January to July 2018, the number of divorces was 4,574 under the two city corporation areas. Nevertheless, the number has increased to 6,232 in the first six months of this year.
Three thousand six hundred seventy-nine divorce applications have been filed in five Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) in the last seven months. Of these, the number of applicants was 602 in January (212 men and 400 women), 501 in February (151 men and 350 women), 226 in March (87 men and 139 women), 638 in April (239 men and 399 women), 820 in May
(302 men and 518 women), 304 in June (128 men and 176 women) and 588 in July (137 men and 451 women).
Also, 2,553 divorce applications have been filed in seven Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) in the last six months. Of these, the number of applicants was 447 in January (185 men and 262 women), 325 in February (109 men and 216 women), 246 in March (88 men and 158 women), 385 in April (177 men and 208 women), 269 in May (71 men and 198 women), 372 in June (106 men and 266 women) and 509 in July (185 men and 324 women).
The number of divorces has been rapidly increasing in recent years, and marriage life is being ruined due to little squabbles. Only two city corporations in Dhaka have filed divorce applications, which is exceedingly concerning and disturbing. According to statistics, 4500 divorce applications were submitted in the first 180 days of 2019. Every hour, the city corporation receives an application to disband a family. In Bangladesh, the divorce rate is higher in urban regions than in rural areas. Women file 70 per cent of divorce petitions, while men file 30 per cent. The divorce rate is significantly greater among educated persons and significantly lower among the general public. According to a report, roughly 70000 divorces in the capital between 2010 and 2019, with 50 to 60 divorce petitions being filed daily.
According to a newspaper study published on December 22, 2020, the divorce rate has risen dramatically in just five months, from June to October 2020. There were 39 divorces every day, or once every 37 minutes. Working husbands and couples have the highest divorce rates. In Dhaka, 5970 divorces had occurred in the first five months of this year. Divorces occur at a rate of 1194 each month on average. There were 920 divorces per month on average last year. In the first five months of this year, divorce rates have risen by 29.78 per cent. Compared to 2018, divorces increased by 17% in 2019. This year, there have been 4773 divorces in Chittagong. In the first ten months of this year, 2336 divorce applications were filed in Sylhet.
Cause of Divorce:
➢ Physical and Mental Torture for Dowry
➢ Drug Addiction of Husband and Physical Torture
➢ Extramarital Relation
➢ Married Under Pressure
➢ Reduced availability of getting intimate
➢ Financial and Career Development
➢ Social media effect raising standards, decreasing standards of living ➢ Need for Excitement
➢ Long-distance relationships and the inability of husbands to return for long periods from abroad
➢ Family Conflict and Husband’s Suspicious Nature
➢ Education and Economic Independence of Women
➢ Domestic abuse from Covid 19 isolation
➢ Degradation of social and moral values
➢ Changes in family patterns,
➢ Lack of mutual trust concealing information
➢ Self-dependence of women
➢ Lack of knowledge regarding religious norms and prohibition,
Effects of Divorce:
Divorce disrupts parent-child relationships primarily, and women suffer more than men. Sometimes, divorce provides positive changes in women’s lives, such as relief from physical and mental abuse, a promising career, the ability to provide a better environment for children, and the ability to provide a better home for children. Mental torture, frustration, and depression are relieved, but the social repercussions of divorce are very severe for women.
“If a child lives with its mother, it would suffer in terms of food intake, sickness care, nutritional status, accidental injury, and all the disadvantages that reduce the survival prospect of children of divorced mothers.”
Diverse socio-economic and cultural factors contribute to the rise in divorce rates in Bangladesh. Regardless of the state of Muslim personal law or Hindu law, or whatever other religions practice, everyone has the right to divorce.
Divorce does not mean that your life is over. For some folks, it is a new beginning. Likewise, ending a relationship can represent a new beginning, a new start in life, and the end of a toxic relationship.