IRAN: Rising divorce rates seen as social crisis similar to drug addiction and prostitution

Is Iran facing a divorce crisis? Some think so:

Divorce is skyrocketing in Iran. Over a decade, the number each year has roughly tripled to a little more than 150,000 in 2010 from around 50,000 in 2000, according to official figures. Nationwide, there is one divorce for every seven marriages; in Tehran, the ratio is 1 divorce for every 3.76 marriages, the government has reported.
While the change in divorce rates is remarkable, even more surprising is the major force behind it: the increasing willingness of Iranian women to manipulate the Iranian legal system to escape unwanted marriages.
The numbers are still modest compared with the United States, which typically records about a million divorces a year in a population about four times as large. But for Iran, with a conservative Islamic culture that strongly discourages divorce, the trend is striking, and shows few signs of slowing. In the last Iranian calendar year, ending in March, divorces were up 16 percent from the year before, compared with a 1 percent increase in marriages.
“In May, a registry office I work with recorded 70 divorces and only 3 marriages,” said a lawyer who requested anonymity for fear of retribution by the Iranian authorities. “The next month, a friend at another office said he recorded 60 divorces and only one marriage.” He noted that both offices were in central Tehran and not in the city’s affluent north, which is considered more liberal and Westernized. [more]

The irony is, what Iranians consider a high divorce rate would be paradise here in the U.S. There are millions of divorces granted each year here in America but only about 100K in Iran. Admittedly, that number is climbing, and, of course, the population of Iran is a fraction of what it is here in America. Still. Their rate of divorce is minuscule all things held equal and it all comes back to the conservatism of the country that is causing people to get concerned when a few marriages implode.
What is the cause of this? Well, it seems that women are waking up from their slumber and demanding equal rights to men. Young people are also not so blindly “religious” and they question the notion of marriage lasting forever, or even whether to get married at all.

“High dowries, high living costs, lack of jobs and financial support make young people fear marriage,” said a member of Parliament, Gholamreza Asadollahi, who also blamed young people who had lost their belief “in the unseen power of God to solve life’s problems.”

But to compare a divorce to drug addiction and prostitution as some are doing in Iran? That’s a little bit beyond the pale, don’t you think?

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10340/1108905-82.stm?cmpid=news.xml#ixzz17SX4SD1E
Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamed/417936161/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/hamed/417936161/