Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, April 14, 2008

Divorce in Iraq on the rise as violence continues

Once considered a taboo, divorce among Iraqi couples has doubled since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Iraqi couples cite many reasons for their stressed relationships. According to the article, “Waves of killing and displacement, not to mention sectarian pressures, have ripped families apart. And soaring unemployment is adding unbearable strain.”

Sayid Rafid Husseini, a cleric who is sought after for marriage certificates, has seen a large increase in couples seeking divorce. “I try to convince them not to do it,” Husseini says. Sharia law, which frowns upon divorce, encourages couples to work things out.

Anam Salman, works at the Baghdad civil affairs court, attempting to reunite families who are considering the path to divorce. According to the article, Salman “scolds and cajoles, teases and sympathizes with the tearful couples who come to her office.” If there is any sign of hope, she pushes the couple even harder to resolve their issues.

Many divorces are caused by sectarian issues, where one spouse is from a different sect than the other. Family pressure encourages the dissolution of the marriage for safety issues, as these couples are often the targets of violence.

For the full article, click here.


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