A law issued by Kuwait more than 20 years ago to increase financial benefits for women separated from their husbands has only led to a sharp rise in divorces in the oil-rich Gulf emirate, according to an official report.
Nearly a third of the marriages among the Kuwaitis ended up in divorce and most of the divorces happen in the first five years of the marriage, said the report by Kuwaiti Umma council (parliament), citing Justice Ministry figures.
“As the sun rises on Kuwait every day, around 30 national couples get married…as the sun sets, nearly a third of those married (in previous years) are divorced,” said the report, published in the Arabic language daily Al Qabas.
“Justice Ministry’s figures showed divorces are on the increase in the country…from around 31 per cent in early 1980s, the divorce rate has risen to an average 35.4 per cent over the past 10 years.”
The report said nearly 65 per cent of the divorces take place in the first five years of marriage, describing those years as “the most serious period in marriage.”
“There are several reasons for the rise in divorce rates in Kuwait, on top of which is the enactment of the Personal Law in 1984,” it said.
“This law has largely increased benefits for divorced wives…under this law, divorced women get housing, monthly alimony, a car, a driver and a housemaid…there are also other factors that contribute to higher divorce rates, including financial, ethical and behavioral reasons.”