The Phillipines is the latest country in the world, together with Vatican City, to ban divorce. This may change as they try to pass a law to allow it, yet how would this change the landscape?
Al Jazeera’s reports on the lives of women who are victims of abusive marriages, and are desperately trying to find a way out of their current state. The legal path of doing so is through annulment, and the only acceptable cause is proved dementia when the marriage took place. Physical abuse, negligence or disloyalty are not grounds for obtaining it. We all know that divorce is another way of empowering women, who would otherwise depend on their husbands socially, economically and psychologically.
Until now, the main deterrent for the state is the pressure from the Catholic church. They fear that if divorce is an option, people will get married without serious consideration.
But the demonizing of divorce is not a purely Catholic endeavor.
Last year, I remember going to an exhibit on India at the Kennedy Center, here in DC. I went with my Indian friend, who very proudly showed me all the things that represented his culture. I was rightly impressed, until we reached the divorce statistic written along a wall. A tiny 10%! He told me this as something to be proud of. Family values still exist in India!
So even if they legalize it in the Philippines, will people get it? How much societal pressure is put on people to not get a divorce? We all know men are allowed to stray but, what of women? The girls who get married off at 14 years old have never known independence so, how would they ever dream of a divorce? (More…)