International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: How domestic abuse, social stigma are taking their toll on divorce in Kashmir
Srinagar: Seven months after Shazia’s (name changed) divorce, her nieces got married. Initially, she refused to go because she was not mentally prepared to socialize in a large gathering after a traumatic event. However, she thought that her presence at the wedding would please her niece and eventually appeared for the occasion.
“At the wedding, I overheard two women in the neighborhood talking among themselves about my looks…” Look, she is wearing a nice dress and jewelry; It doesn’t seem like he’s affected by the divorce. If I were in her place, I would have preferred to stay at home,” said Shazia.
Divorced women face many challenges in Kashmiri society. Negative perceptions of divorced individuals, especially women, have not changed and they are more likely to be held responsible for separation. Divorced women are perceived as unsuccessful, difficult to live with and sometimes ridiculed.
In many cases, divorce usually leads to the departure of one of the parents and often leaves the responsibility of parenting with the mother. Women who are not working either have to depend on their parents for support, and if their parents are either dead or lack financial resources, some divorced women become dependent on others. Huh.
For example, in the case of Asma (name changed), the girl had to take up a job after the divorce. “I am working as a cook in a local private school. I started a job after my divorce. I didn’t do this for myself but to nurture my child. My ex-husband never paid alimony or maintenance for our child as was decided earlier. Although my parents helped me, it was not enough for me to take care of my child’s needs,” she said.
A 2020 study titled, “The lived experiences of divorced women in Kashmir: A groundbreaking study” was published in the Journal of Gender Studies.
The aim was to understand the lived experiences of divorced women in Kashmir.
The results showed that “domestic violence with husband’s infidelity” were cited as the most common reasons for divorce, followed by “childlessness and incompatibility.”
“Regarding the challenges faced by women, it was found that divorce gives rise to many social, economic, psychological and cultural barriers which compel divorced women to experience grief. The negative attitudes of members of the wider society towards women who were found restricted and divorced affected the way they lived their lives.
According to the study, while in some areas, women received assistance, or became autonomous, most experienced significant difficulties.
“Most of the divorced women experienced depression and were also blamed by others for the divorce. Many experienced difficulties in raising their children, as this created a tension between financial and emotional needs. Many The mental and physical health of women has deteriorated.
Mir Umar, Advocate, High Court, Jammu and Kashmir said that the rate of divorce is increasing day by day as the courts are full of matrimonial disputes.
“One of the main reasons for divorce in today’s time is the lack of patience among the couples. Ego clash is also the root cause of separation. The tolerance level is low on both the sides and result in dissonance. When a couple has a high level of understanding then the greed for money and gold etc. will never affect their relationship.
Mir said that interference of families in the affairs of couples also creates barriers between them. “Sometimes we also see that there is no rivalry between couples, but within their families.”
He pointed to the legal rights of women after divorce. “Divorce does not take place in the eyes of law merely by the statement of the husband irrespective of the personal law. A man has to prove before the civil court that the divorce granted by him is legal and valid. Secondly, a divorced wife can She is entitled to lifelong maintenance from the husband unless she remarries,” said Mir.
He said that the woman is also entitled to annuities and compensation from her husband. “He also deserves Meher And gifts even after divorce,” said Mir.
A senior clinical psychologist at IMHANS, Kashmir said that divorce is not just about ending a relationship, it is also often accompanied by tough legal battles, financial uncertainties, changes in social dynamics and challenges of custody and co-parenting. it happens.
“It is also about the loss of an imagined future. After one of the most important events that can change the direction of our lives, it is natural to experience sadness, anxiety, stress, anger, disbelief, fear, and much more,” says the psychologist. he said.
She stressed that one way for divorced women to cope is to understand that divorce is not an indicator of their worth as a human being. “We often remind our clients to remember that an unhappy marriage can be more detrimental to our well-being than separation. While divorce can be the end of a relationship, it can also be the beginning of many new ones.” Maybe.”