Al Menbar: Need to tackle alarmingly high divorce rates in Bahrain

February 7, 2010

MP Abdul Lateef Al Shaikh - Al Menbar Chairman

A parliamentary bloc has urged the Bahraini government to commission studies that will help it tackle “alarmingly rising” divorce figures in the country.

MPs representing the Islamic Menbar, the third largest parliamentary bloc in the lower chamber, said that the government and society cannot lapse into silence as around 30 per cent of the marriages in 2008 ended in divorce.

“According to the figures we received from the justice and Islamic ministry, 4,400 couples got married in 2008. However, the courts recorded 1,280 divorce cases. This is an alarmingly high figure and a source of grave concern for those who care about family matters,” MPs Ali Ahmad, Abdul Lateef Al Shaikh, Mohammad Khalid, Ibrahim Al Hdi and Nasser Al Fadhala said in their motion.

“The government needs to act promptly and decisively. They need to carry out in-depth studies by social, psychological and academic experts to know the real causes for the high divorce rate. They should also seek to gain insights into how to tackle such problems from other countries and launch awareness programmes for young men and women,” the MPs said.

Malaysia’s success story in addressing the issue should be considered and eventually emulated, they said.

Last year, in a move to tackle rising divorce rates in the socially conservative country, the government started organising workshops that featured suggestions to strength marriage bonds by promoting romance and intimacy.

Al Menbar MPs hope that the government in Bahrain will also take bold steps to tackle the problem, particularly that the motion is likely to be approved by the other blocs.

The parliament’s legislative and legal committee has endorsed the motion, paving the way for its discussion by the lower chamber. If passed, it will be reviewed by the upper chamber before it is submitted to the government for application.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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