PRETORIA, SA: Rising divorce rates show differences by race

I was just perusing this article in the Times Live, South Africa, called: Africans catch the divorce bug Changing face of marriage in South Africa revealed in latest statistics by Kim Hawkey. south africaAnd it was rather interesting to note the breakdown of the divorce statistics by race. According to the South African based reporter, there has been a spike in divorces among African couples but a drop in divorces among white couples in South Africa.  Says Ms. Hawkey, quoting a South African professor:

Professor Kammila Naidoo of the University of Pretoria’ s Department of Sociology said the spike in divorces among African couples could be because this group had faced the most change in recent years, adding stress to relationships.
“This sector has faced enormous change and that really impacts on marital unions,” she said. A rise in the status of African women may have also increased competition between married couples, often leading to more tension on the home front, she said.

Interestingly, among “Coloured” “Indian/Asian” and “Interracial” couples, coloured South Africans divorce rate was 3:1 with Interracial couples. Indian/Asian couples were almost 3:2 when compared to Coloured South Africans.
There seems to be several reasons for the higher divorce rates among “coloured” South Africans according to the article:

Family law expert Nthabiseng Monareng said counselling was considered taboo by many Africans, and this could contribute to the number of divorces.
Another notable difference in the African population was that men opted out and filed for divorce, whereas in other race groups it was usually women who sought to end a marriage.

Age didn’t seem to matter nor the length of marriage. In other words, there were South Africans over the age of 80 who sought divorces (about 55 in 2008) and many who were married over 30 years also were prone to end their marriages without batting an eyelash (usually it was the husband who wanted to find a younger mate and who asked for the divorce.)
Still, notwithstanding these increases, the divorce rate in South Africa is nowhere near what it is in Europe and North America.  Read the full article here: http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/article212396.ece
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