Oman Witnesses Rising Divorce Rates, as Financial Stress a Key Factor
Over 4,000 marriages in the Sultanate of Oman ended in divorce in 2022, an 8% increase from the year before. This indicates a considerable increase in divorce cases in the Sultanate of Oman.
Regional Distribution of Divorces
The regions of Muscat (977 cases), Dhofar (786 cases), North Batinah (666 cases), and South Batinah (476 cases) recorded the highest divorce numbers, as reported by the National Centre for Statistics and Information. Among these cases, 3,682 involved Omani couples, while only 182 pertained to expatriate couples.
Complex Reasons for Divorce
Experts point out that the reasons behind divorce are multifaceted. Financial concerns emerged as a prominent factor driving couples to divorce. The shifting financial dynamics, where women might assume greater financial responsibilities, have played a role. Other contributing factors include issues like infidelity and personality mismatches.
Empowerment of Women and Equal Opportunities
The Omani government's commitment to empowering women and ensuring their access to equal opportunities has played a significant role in enabling women to address marital problems and opt for divorce when needed, thus contributing to the increase in divorce rates.
Decline in marriages
In contrast to the increase in divorces, Oman saw a 20% decrease in the number of marriages in 2022, with 15,400 marriages compared to 19,294 in 2021.
Factors Contributing to Rising Divorce Rates
Experts attribute the surge in divorce rates to three core factors: financial strain, infidelity, and verbal or mental abuse. The economic challenges brought about by financial stress, coupled with infidelity and issues of emotional abuse, have put strains on many marriages.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in the increase in divorces. Lockdowns and restrictions forced couples to spend more time together, which, in some cases, exacerbated existing marital issues.
Long-term trends and considerations
The rising divorce rate emphasizes how crucial it is to give marriage significant thought and preparation before getting married. Experts predict that observing this tendency over the ensuing years will help determine whether it stabilizes or keeps changing.
The complex interplay of economic, emotional, and societal factors highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to addressing the challenges faced by couples in Oman and promoting healthier relationships.