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In the map of the globe one will come against a number of nations and nationalities. All of them will be having something or the other very particular and unique amongst themselves that would be primarily related to the culture of the said nation. One such country or region happens to be the Gulf. The Arabs are considered to be one of the wealthiest and affluent class and nationality of people and the Arab nations are again supposed to be very rich in their resources and hence has built a very strong and powerful economy for themselves. In this case a special mention could be made of the AUE. In fact it could be said that the UAE economy happens to be one of the most developed ones amongst the various nations in the world. However the UAE just as the rest of the Arab world also has a very distinct and definite culture of its own which has its own set of predefined social norms and rules. One element or the basic essence of the social rules is the absence of balance of rights and privileges amongst the genders of the Arab society. This is one facet that could be seen in all the possible walks of the Arab world and life, where the male members of the society always receives a greater importance as compared to the women, as a result of which we see that the women is always considered to be the weaker gender as in comparison to the male elements of the nation (Underwood, 2013).
This particular feature is again visible in the genre of marriage. In this context we also can see that the UAE happens to be an Islamic country where the nation’s main religion happens to be Islam. Now as per the rules of Islam marriages between family members; brothers and sisters is a completely acceptable notion and could be highly practiced. Once again we see that since in accordance with the nature and the trend of the national culture the male elements of the society receives a greater importance as in comparison to the females, often the consent of the lady is not really considered with much weight age at the time of the marriage. Hence just on one hand we see that the nation has a history and a cultural heritage that goes back a long way back and deep roots at the very same time we see that the society of the UAE is seeing a rising number of failed marriages and an inclining rate of broken marriages. In the current discussion we will be looking at the various causes, effects and the probable solutions to the social issue of the rising number of broken marriages in the UAE, which is quickly taking the form of a social trend or pattern (Roberts, 2015).
In this section of the discussion we will be looking at the various factors that play an elemental role in the failure of the numerous marriages that one is getting to see in the contemporary UAE society. Meanwhile looking at the causes one could also identify them as the characteristic features that could be summed up to be the current trend of marriages that are happening in the modern UAE society (Rashad, 2005). In fact it could also be opined that it is due to the inherent nature of the way in which marriages are decided and established in UAE and also the rest of the Arab world, that contributes to the rising number of failed marriages. In the subsequent part we will be looking at the various causes or the reasons that amount to the failed marriages, which again could be considered to be the trend of marriages in the Emirates:
- Typical to the Islamic society marriages between family members, often brothers and sisters is a very common trend in UAE just as the rest of the Arab community. This is a norm and a trend that is accepted as per the religious and the cultural roots and is also a widely practiced law. However this one reason that contributes much to the failure of marriages as often the rapport between the newly wedded gets disrupted due to the mentioned reason.
- Since the society of the UAE happens to be quite a strict and orthodox one where the old schools are of the opinion that the would-be bride and groom are not to mix amongst themselves. As a result of the same the boy and the girl often does not get to know each other well and cannot take a proper call regarding the other person.
- Once again we see that since many marriages are done within the family, the parents of the both the husband and wife feels it is their duty to interfere in the matters of the newly weds and to clear problems in case some issue arises. This is a one idea that is widely believed and accepted. However recent researches do reveal that this is one element that has acutely contributed to the rising ratio of problems between the husband and the wife which ultimately leads to the separation between the two.
- However one aspect that has contributed the most to the unfortunate event of the rising number of divorces and failed marriages is the irresponsible behavior of the husband and wife themselves where they are not able to attribute the required amount of importance to the relationship and make a success out of the same (News, 2012).
Following are the effects of the broken marriages, the brunt of which is born not just by the families of the husband and wife but also their children, if any is born by the time of the separation:
- Adverse effects on the children who have a clouded childhood and often takes to drug and other addictive habits (Nouri, 2015).
- The number of single mother rises
- The reputation of the women gets marred
- Family relations get spoiled and relatives do not talk to each other for years.
- Often it has been seen that due to the financial settlements the men often goes deep down in financial crisis
- It is a very emotionally challenging time for the whole of the family
- Once again we see that due to witnessing so many broken marriages the new generation slowly is loosing their faith into the institution of marriage and are gradually becoming averse to the idea.
Researches into the problem has clearly shown that the only solution that could help contain the situation is to change the few rules that has been reigning for ages into the genre of traditional marriage customs in the UAE and also the rest of the Islamic world. In this context one of the biggest solution that could be offered is a proper emancipation of the women and the treatment of the women in the same category and class as the men and the women also needs to be given complete freedom regarding choosing and deciding on the kind of life partner that they would wish to have for their entire lives. In this context we will be furnishing the following list of solutions that could be implemented to battle the current situation of a surging crisis:
- Even if marriages are taking place in a family the boy and the girl has to be allowed to meet and converse amongst themselves.
- Educate the women so that she could not just have a career of her own, but could again take up better responsibility with a her husband and could carve a better living for herself and her husband.
- Love marriages should not be discouraged, parents has to be diligent but not negative about the idea.
- After marriage the parents of both the husband and wife must stop interfering.
- Both the man and the women has to understand the importance of a healthy and happy relationship not juts for themselves but also for their children in case they happens to have any.
The population index clearly shows that there is an imbalance between the ratio of the boys and the girls in the population. Women are much higher in number as compared to the men.
The number of single people is much larger in number as compared to the married ones. This could also be probably due to the high number of divorces.
The above pie chart clearly establishes the fact that the law of setting the minimum age for marriage has not really been taken very positively by the people which could mean that more education on the topic is required for the population of the nation
The population seems to be having a genuine concern for the welfare of their children and also identifies the medical problems that could later arise out of marriage in the same family.
Quite obviously forced marriages which happen without the consent of the women have the worst effect and are mainly responsible for the failure of the alliance.
Also the lack of responsibility amongst the couples leads to a huge number of divorces every year.
Marital counseling is a must that happens to be helping the couple to understand the importance of the relations and also of each other.
On a concluding note it could be said that just as the society of UAE needs to hold on to its past culture and heritage, it also most import some amount of modernity of the west and the progressive. Equal status of the women is most elemental program that the nation and its leaders must engage into, only after which the problem of failing marriages could be controlled.
News. (2012, July 5). United Arab Emirates worried by unmarried women trend. Retrieved from news: http://www.news.com.au/world/arabs-worried-by-spinster-trend/story-fndir2ev-1226417349051
Nouri, S. (2015, January 12). Marriage on the rocks in the United Arab Emirates. Retrieved from alaraby: http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/features/2015/1/13/marriage-on-the-rocks-in-the-united-arab-emirates
Rashad, H. (2005). MARRIAGE IN THE ARAB WORLD. Retrieved from prb: http://www.prb.org/pdf05/marriageinarabworld_eng.pdf
Roberts, K. (2015January, 29). An expensive yes: inside matrimony, UAE-style. Retrieved from thenational: http://www.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/an-expensive-yes-inside-matrimony-uae-style
Underwood, M. (2013, June5). UAE weddings: trend of big-budget days may be changing. Retrieved from thenational: http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/uae-weddings-trend-of-big-budget-days-may-be-changing
This is a questionnaire about the trends in marriage, meaning the different types of marriage which are forced marriages, close relation marriages (first cousin), or love marriages and how it’s accepted in the UAE society.
- Marital status:
- Are you with restricting the age of marriage to 18-year-old for girls, and 21-year-old for boys?
- Is the medical examination is an important step for the marriage? and why?
- Which trend in marriage do you think has a negative impact on women and men and why?
- Marriage by family or First cousins marriage
- Forced marriage
- Marriage by love
- In your opinion, what is the main cause of high rate of unsuccessful marriages in UAE!?
- Close relationship/force marriage
- Other, ( mention)__________
- Do you think that there should be some marital counseling before marriage?
- Because of high rates of divorce, do you think that the marital counseling provided by the court before divorce is important?
- Should women have the right to choose whoever they want to marry?
- No, her parents should have all the rights
- Yes, but her family should also have an opinion about it.
- Do you think marriage by love is uncommon in our society?
- How does the UAE society accept marriages based on love rather than the traditional approach?
- Do you agree with forced marriages if it will benefit the girl in the future?
- Yes, I agree
- No, I don’t agree
- Other opinion, ________________
- Should divorce in UAE be more difficult to obtain, easier to obtain or stay the same as now?
- More difficult to obtain
- Easier to obtain
- Stay the same as now
- According to you, who are more affected by divorce in society?
- The wife
- The husband
- The children
- Do you think the probability of getting genetic diseases when married to a close relative is higher?
- Do you think its okay to marry a foreigner of different culture and traditions than yours?
- Do you agree with the idea of dating the person and getting to know them better before marriage?