Recently, I came across a contest celebrating International Woman’s Day which is coming up in the month of March. Amongst the many topics mentioned to reflect about, there was one that caught my immediate attention. And that was, “Does empowering Women invariably increase Divorce Rates?”
I would like to think that empowering women does not automatically result in the creation of an arrogant, power hungry woman gloating with pride and throwing away love, family and caution to the wind. That would be a highly conservative and chauvinist view. Even the most fragile, weakling of a woman could cause a storm in a home. The woman needn’t be empowered to increase the divorce rates. I am sure many of the men reading this piece will vouch for that. A frustrated, nagging woman can really turn a haven of a home into one hell of a house (pun intended). So, one doesn’t actually require an empowered woman to jump headlong into the divorce queue. Right?
But, it is a fact, a growing trend now-a-days, that when women are made aware of their rights, their powers, something goes haywire. Not always the case though. I am not generalizing mind you. But, when a woman becomes conscious of what she had been missing all along, (with or without empowerment) -this awareness kind of leads to a lot of grudging for the drudgery done all the years in the name of family duties, and sacrifice for the good of all! One part of her mind is extremely happy that she is finally getting her due while another part resents the time, energy, sweat and grime wasted. While one section of such suddenly empowered women are elated and make their lives better in their own silent graceful manner without opting to walk out, there is the other section of women who no longer wish to remain in the confines of society’s conservative, superficial and hypocritical laws. The latter lot are the ones who fall for the divorce bait.
Not to say that divorce is not liberating. For many it is a chance to be free, to be able to fly the way any human with dreams should. But, divorce may not always be the way out for all. Again, I need to emphasize the fact that only the woman having gone through a divorce for whatever reason knows how she feels within. Her sense of liberation or frustration, the stigma of being a divorcee and thus being ‘available’ – all are subjective emotions. But, divorce rates are definitely on the rise today. Be it in the upper classes or the middle classes. At the drop of a pin, a marriage that was solemnized for a lifetime is done away with. Those not brave enough to take such a huge step or those worrying about their children, step behind and continue suffering. But many others opt for this way out leaving behind a spate of broken relationships…and a lot of hurt, sadness and humiliation. So:
- Are our lifestyles to blame?
- Are our changed perspectives to blame?
- Are our ever changing priorities to blame?
- Are the easily available facilities and opportunities to blame?
This takes me back to the topic I had mentioned. About empowering women and increased divorce rates. The answer would be a yes and a no. No. Empowering women does not automatically lead to increasing divorce rates. Yes. An awareness conscious woman could consider the option of walking out of her marriage to make her life better.
This Woman’s Day, let us wish, hope and pray for a contented, healthy, happy and peaceful innings for women all over the world.