Women Empowerment – A Cause for Increasing Divorces in India
Posted in Group Discussion (GD) Topics with Answers, Total Reads: 1374
There are six people having this debate: Alia, Bipasha, Charuta, Dhara, Ekta, Fatima
Category: Social, Business
Group Discussion Starts
Alia: Hello friends, we are here to discuss about aspect of women empowerment where it is said to be a contributing factor to the increase in divorce rates in India. By empowering women, we’ve opened up opportunities for them to have an access to education, to become employable and make real contributions to society. Empowered women imply an open, fair society. While there is co-relation between Women Empowerment and Divorce rate but there is no evidence that Women Empowerment is alone a reason.
Charuta: I would like to second Alia here. Moreover, I believe there are too many reasons that can be associated to the increase in the rate of divorces. It can be that either person has fallen out of love, it can be a case of abuse or ill treatment from the spouse, cheating and many more. If compared to the past, we’re living in a globalized society where the influence of Western cultures has shun a lot of taboo around the topic of divorces and issues related to it. Hence I am strictly against the view that Women Empowerment is the reason for increasing divorce rates.
Fatima: I am not against Women Empowerment and I feel Women Empowerment may not be a “reason” for increasing divorce rate in India but it surely is a tool for the same. As the women are becoming more educated and independent their view towards marriage has changed. They do not want marriage to come in their way of their career or anything they wish for. They do not want to think twice in case they are facing problems with their spouse. They feel it’s easy to move on.
Dhara: I agree with Fatima. Earlier women didn’t opt for divorce because they were dependent on men and hence either they gave more time to their marriage or continued to be in a problematic relation with their spouse. Now that they are empowered and independent, they know they have no reason to be in a problematic relationship. Earlier women were considered property first of father and then of husband. With Women Empowerment if the marriage institution doesn’t work for them, so be it. They will simply move on
Bipasha: In my view its not women empowerment but the legal system that has strengthened in the past few years to solve issues of women that has increased divorce rates I India. Women now have easier access to legal aids than ever before, and this is turning out to be counterproductive. An enabled and empowered access is creating more problems than it is solving, in this case. The laws now are generally framed in such a way that they break marriages easily.
Ekta: Not only the legal aids but many other women organizations who support divorce to relieve women from oppression. Earlier the problems between the couple were solved within home with their mutual understanding. But now a days there are many women organizations that are funded by the capitalist society who would actually benefit form divorces. Then there are justice departments, police, media, politics and what not who actually speak of women rights but eventually are benefitted out of these divorce. Women Empowerment is just a blanket to cover it all.
Fatima: In the name of creating social and judicial awareness, we’ve strengthened our reaches but on the flipside, failed to instil the moral responsibilities that accompany the choices women make. Empowerment has come with this unfortunate flaw.
Ekta: I agree. It is also highly unlikely in today’s scenario that a woman would stay in an abusive relationship merely because of an obligation or social compulsion. The financial and moral independence of women combined with the dissociation of the ethical stigma around divorces makes it a more available remedy.
Dhara: Let’s look at another aspect of the discussion. The causes for divorces may be multiple and varied. For example, a changed lifestyle and preferences have impact on men as much as women. There have been many instances where the people have unilaterally walked out on relationships, and that choice has not been taken by women alone. Greater social acceptance of divorce, the anonymity of modern cities, financial freedom among women, the increasing rate of double income no kids couple, professional rivalry ; these are the major factors these days that contribute to divorce rater than just an abusive relationship.
Alia: Yes I agree, and I would like to add some statistics to support the case here. Roughly, about one in thousand people in India seek divorce. Out of thousand such cases, merely one of them can be affiliated to no other cause than an uninformed choice by a woman. On the other hand, I believe that an empowered woman is lead to a choice of whom to marry according to her preferences and choices, which should lead to more number of successful marriages than the failed ones.
Bipasha: While the statistics need not necessarily be suggestive, but the issue is new and there has been an undoubtable rise in the number of such cases. While there may be multiple other issues that are leading to the increased number of such cases, we cannot deny that there has been a sprawling number of cases with such incidents.
Ekta: While we have successfully arrested the social and ethical stigma around the concept of liberty in one’s choice of decisions in a marriage, we’ve not spread enough awareness and information about the impact of one’s choices. The increase in number of marriages that are broken are leading to an increased number of children who are not monitored properly, leading to increased drug abuse and crime rates in the youth.
Dhara: While divorces need not be necessarily conspired by the enablement of options and facilities for women, it is an agreeable fact that we need to counter the increased rates of divorces by measures that would avoid divorces in the first place.
The women these days are getting more and more empowered as they are getting better education and better pay jobs which is very good but at the same time it comes with its unfortunate flow. The increase in divorce rate in India cannot be solely attributed to women empowerment, it serves only as a tool to facilitate it. It’s the changing lifestyle like increasing number of DINK (Dual Income No Kids) couples, mindset of the women which is more self-centred than family oriented, the external aids supporting divorce like the legal aids and women organizations, the increasing population and westernization etc which also plays a major role in the increasing divorce rates. It is absolutely essential to empower women in the present era but at the same time the traditional belief in marriage institution needs to be addressed.
Facts related to the topic
• The rate of divorce in India is about 13 per 1,000 marriages against 500 in 1,000 marriages in the UK
• 5.32% of marriages in rural are inter-caste marriages and 5.37% marriages in urban are inter-caste marriages
• Divorces granted by the family courts increased by 350 per cent between 2003 and 2011 in Kolkata, and doubled in Mumbai between 2010 and 2014
• Average divorce rate globally on arranged marriages - 4.2%