Stopping Tunisia’s Divorce Scourge

Stopping Tunisia’s Divorce Scourge


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Imed LassouedImed Lassoued is a Tunisian journalist. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in literature from the Faculty of Arts, Letters and Humanities La Manouba of Tunis, Tunisia. You can follow him on Twitter at: @imed2010 [/symple_box]

 ” At Summer time, it is party time. At Winter time, it is judiciary acts time, Tunisian saying.

Tunis, Tunisia- As summer is ushering in, a great number of Tunisian families are making the last preparations for the marriage celebrations of their sons and daughters. Concerned couples are racing against time to make ends meet.  According to official statistics, each year 75 thousand marriage contracts are signed. However, a close look at the rate of divorce in Tunisia reveals something quite alarming. One out of seven marriages ends up in divorce. In 2012 alone 12.000 case of divorce were declared. The big city of Tunis (comprising the governorate of Tunis, Ariana, Ben Arous, and Manouba) witnessed the highest rate of divorce. A study carried out by the Tunisian Women Affairs and Family Ministry shows that 58 % of divorce cases occurred during the first 10 years of marriage. Also alarming is that 85 % of divorce cases occur during the first year of marriage.

The inability of couples to preserve their family nucleus is due to three major reasons: Financial problems top the list, domestic violence comes second, and infidelity closes the list. It is high time for Tunisians to craft a scheme to curb the rising rate of divorce. First, the scale of this problem should be considered on the national level. Like the educational reform, tax reform, etc… a national debate on how to protect nucleus families from falling apart is actually needed. For this I suggest that concerned parties like the Tunisian Women Affairs and Family Ministry, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Culture, and civil societies adopt the Malaysian system which proved successful since it brought down the rate of divorce from 37% to 7% in a matter of one decade.  In Malaysia couples due to marry are asked to take a pre-marriage course that lasts three weeks. This course is made compulsory by the authority since it grants a certificate deemed essential to sign a marriage contract. Put in a nutshell, this course aims at providing essential knowledge to the would-be married couples who are going to live under one roof.

Undoubtedly the Malaysian program to curb the rate of divorce could be followed here in Tunisia, taking into consideration some local perspectives . The high tide in divorce may have nefarious ramifications on the path of progress that all of us aspire for. It is prime time for Tunisia to tackle that.