Economic burden has played a role in rising divorce cases

Unemployment adds burden on couples and leads to detachment

In Summary

• The barbaric notion that 'a woman's place is in the kitchen' making men refuse to let wives provide for them. 

• Divorce cases filed at an alarming rate, some couple marry too young and without knowledge of marriage. 

A judicial officer revealed that 70 per cent of court cases are related to divorce
ECONOMIC BURDEN: A judicial officer revealed that 70 per cent of court cases are related to divorce
Image: FILE

The increased rate of divorce cases in Lamu is a signal that there are problems in marriage in the entire Kenyan society.

Data from the Kenya Health Demographic Survey shows that the number of separated or divorced women increased from 4.6 per cent to 7.7 per cent between 1989 and 2014. The divorce cases filed at the High Court keep rising at an alarming rate. It is also a fact that many cases also go unreported.

This can be triggered by first, a lack of proper knowledge of what marriage is about. Many couples enter the union without an understanding of their rights and responsibilities as husband and wife. It’s superficial thinking that marriage is only for sexual gratification.

Second, the concept of gender equality has empowered the modern woman to believe she can earn her own living and not depend on a man. But men have not caught up with their female counterparts in this train of thoughts, hence, they are stuck with the belief that ‘a woman’s place in in the kitchen’ or ‘her duties are limited to childbearing’ making submission a pipe dream.

Economic problems have also contributed to the fall of marriages as issues such as depression arise leading to detachment in the household and exchange of blame between a couple. This coupled with the barbaric notion that only a man can be the breadwinner due to unwritten societal rules contributes to unhappiness in the union.

The only solution to this problem is to redefine the responsibility of couples through education and counselling. The government should also provide jobs to reduce the financial and psychological burden on its citizens.

This will not only save marriages but also lives as cases of depression will be reduced.