Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Income, Educational Status and Divorce Proneness among Career Women in Osun State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Income, Educational Status and Divorce Proneness among Career Women in Osun State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Divorce has become a global issue, and the rate of increase is alarming. U.S. Census Bureau, (2011) reported that globally, 32 percent of marriages were terminated before their fifth anniversary while 62 percent does so before their 10th anniversary while in the United States, about 2.3 million marriages are conducted yearly, with over 1.2 million divorces, a failure rate of over 50%. Statistically, 40% of first marriages, 60% of second, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.

Even though there are no statistics on the rate of divorce in Nigeria, marriage registry records shows that the rate of divorce in Nigeria is steadily increasing and that today more couples divorce than what obtained some years ago. In Osun State, Marriage Registry record shows that 12,697 Marriages were registered for both the Churches and Marriage Registry from 1991-2000. During the same period (1991-2000), there were 4,104 divorce cases filed in court, which means that there was 32% divorce rate within this period. Also, between 2001- 2010, registered marriages were 18,456 while the divorce cases filed during the same period were 10,542 (Court case files), this indicates 57% divorce rate within this period. Edinyang, Ubi and Yaro (2013) in their study indicated that About 30 to 40 percent of married couples in Nigeria divorce yearly. Omolayo, Falegan and Ajila, (2013) also predicted that close to two thirds of new marriages will end in divorce

Even though it was observed that marriages before the end of 20th century were bound with traditional rites and taboos. Whether a marriage is solemnised in court, church or mosque, they are usually bonded with legal vows to love, honour and cherish one another till death do them part, divorce rate was then, seemingly negligible but today, most of such rites and vows are apparently becoming devalued. This is evident in the overwhelming increase in the rate of single parents which is the fall out from divorce arrangement between couples.

With rapid modernization and westernization of societies, those norms, practices and traditional values which initially kept African marriages intact are now being eroded. In traditional African society, divorce was seen as a taboo, and something that nobody dared attempt. There was a high level of stigma associated with divorce, and also because spouses were married to the families, rather than just the individual, seeking divorce was not always an option when marital instability is experienced. Today, there is a big paradigm shift from what used to obtain in marriages in the past. The mindset, values and expectations with which couples enter into marriages have drastically changed.

Although from the African perspective, divorce is seen as a sign of social and moral disruption with a potential to shatter the family institution and the foundations of society itself, some other cultures have celebrated these trends as signalling increased individual liberty and the loosening of suffocating social customs. It is sometimes perceived as solution to difficult marital relationships irrespective of the repercussion on the couple, children, and the society at large. Most married couples expect a healthy life as healthy marriage is good for couple's mental and physical health so also for the good of the children. It makes children grow up to be mentally, physically, educationally and socially balanced. However, no matter how divorce is viewed, the fact remains that it often shatters the peace and harmony in the family and influences the quality of life of family members negatively.

Divorce has a major impact on the family. Every individual of the family will suffer short and long term effects. It carries with it many negative effects on children, teens, spouses, parents and the extended family members as well as impacts the careers of people and the well being of society. Children from divorced families mostly get involved in delinquency and anti-social behaviours. …

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