22 Aug 2005

Increase in divorces a worrying trend

It is a worrying trend for a predominantly patriarchical society. I doubt however that the women who filed for divorce would see it as 'worrying'. So even though I may not agree with the tone of the article it is posted here. One solution to this worrying trend is to redefine 'the family' set up new indicators, accept other forms and structures of the 'family'. So this article is one for all my ex-students out there.

First spotted on Singapore Window

Star, Malaysia
August 21, 2005

Insight Down South By Seah Chiang Nee

GLOBALLY connected and well-educated, Singapore is undergoing great social changes, one of which is a weakening of the family unit.

Like in other Asian cities, Singaporean couples are filing for divorce in worrying numbers, some of them barely months after tying the knot. At the same time, marriage and birthrates are in decline.

This may have an impact on the city’s long-term future. Singapore has about a million families, and its leaders have repeatedly said that the country can do well only if these units are well.

Last year, the number of divorces hit a peak of 6561 cases, doubling over 10 years. Among Muslims, more than three in 10 marriages broke up within the first five years. This means that for every seven marriages registered in Singapore, two ended in divorce, or some 28.5%.

This rate, however, is nowhere near the US and West Europe, where half the marriages end up in divorce. It is also lower than South Korea (47%), Hong Kong (41%) and Japan (38%) but higher than China (15%).

Divorces are rising here because the younger generation has been brought up differently. They are more individualistic and when faced with a problem in marriage, each thinks of his or her own interests instead of family harmony. Traditionalists blame it on Western culture.

Forty years ago, divorce was unthinkable but today’s MTV generation feels less attached to the concept of marriage.

It’s the wife who initiates many of the break-ups. Today’s women are no longer subservient to their men. Independent-minded, many of them no longer tolerate their husbands’ abuse or infidelity. In fact, some women even rival man’s propensity for adultery.

The Women’s Charter protects their financial interests in the event of a break-up, often ensuring the husband contribute to his divorced wife and estranged children. It’s hard to believe, but many Singaporean men see themselves as the victims of these social changes.

“We can succeed financially on our own without a man,” said a single mother with a seven-year-old son.

The women’s assertiveness has come as a blow to those men who are raised to believe that their role in a marriage should be unquestioning.

It isn’t only 20-somethings breaking up. Like in Japan, divorce is becoming more frequent among mature couples, too. After tolerating it for years, many suffering spouses (often the wives) wait until their children have grown up before taking action.

About 21% of last year’s divorces in Singapore were between spouses who had been married for 20 years or more.

According to cases, the danger age is 35 to 49, most of them having wedded before they were 25. Half the couples said problems had cropped up in the first four years of marriage. Dual-income couples often struggle with juggling the need to earn money and enjoying a healthy family life. Surprisingly, infidelity accounts for only 9% of divorces.

A high level of education is scant help; half the divorced people were graduates or diploma holders. Recent economic hardship is an added cause, although failure to communicate is said to be the biggest factor.

One divorcee remarked: “We don’t live in a land of milk and honey – you need money to survive. So when you have insufficient money, there’s stress on the marriage.”

Divorce is evidently an excruciatingly painful affair, but because of changing social mores, the younger set doesn’t feel the stigma that was once attached to it.

An open, modern city, Singapore lies on the crossroads between East and West.

At least a quarter of its 4.2 million population are foreigners. It receives 8.5 million tourists a year, and some 150,000 Singaporeans are working or studying abroad.

With these exposures, the society has become more vulnerable to outside influences than most of its rural neighbours.

A generation ago, its people began moving into high-rise housing, bringing to an end the traditional extended family under one roof. More than 90% of Singaporeans are now flat dwellers.

Unhappy couples are left without the mediation or advice that aged parents had provided in the past.

The transformation also stems from the vast number of educated women joining the labour force.

Singaporeans are a very competitive lot and this leaves a toll on home leisure. To improve family life, the civil service has just reduced the work-week to five days.

And creeping into the picture are such 21st century practices as separate bank accounts between husband and wife, pre-nuptial contracts and having private investigators to check into spouses’ lives.

Overall, the tone for social changes is the globalisation of ideas and popular culture with their new role models for any woman thinking of doing it alone.

The influence of TV, the Internet and other imported entertainment may have contributed to the phenomenon. Unfortunately, the trend is accompanied by a steady drop in the number of marriages. In 2003, only 21,962 couples registered to be married, a year’s drop of 5%.

The transformation of the family has, however, been tempered to an extent by bilingual education and organised efforts to retain cultural values. A Family Day is celebrated every year in Singapore’s heartland. Although most Singaporeans live in small nuclear families, many opt to live near parents for practical reasons. No one can care for their children better than dad and mum.

It helps to ensure a passing down of generational values.


o Seah Chiang Nee is a veteran journalist and editor of the information website littlespeck.com

Related Article:
"The Flight From Marriage" in South and South East Asia by Gavin W. Jones (pdf)
The Battle of Sexuality


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What tone? I find it very displeasing that the women's charter is named such and aimed at such- women.

Whilst i'm all for equal rights, it's clearly seen that the charter favours the woman over the man.

It's because of that that if i get married, a prenuptial agreement will be essential.

I don't want to pay for the lavish lifestyle of someone i hate now do i?

clyde said...

It is.....the bastardisation of the east. MTV and their brainwashing crappy music.

Anonymous said...

but all that chinese education people get are supposed to develop traditional values; all those clever scholars in MOE should be working on this issue
oh wait.. now they use a different reason, the need to do business in china.. traditional values are no longer important (even gambling is good now) so people become more decadent.. now someone must bring back the old justification before divorces rise further..

Anonymous said...

anti spyware gratuitavast antivirusantivirus en ligneantivirus gratuitantivirus gratuitementantivirus pour scannerantivirus softwareantivirusavast antivirusavg antivirusavgbitdefendercomparatif antivirusetrustfirewalllogiciel antivirusmcafeemeilleur antivirusnorton antivirus gratuitnorton antivirustelecharger nortonpanda antivirusspybotspywaretelecharger antivirus gratuittelecharger antiviruszone alarmblague blondeblague de totoblague droleblague du jourblague humourblague sur les blondeblague telephoneblague videoblaguevideo comiquediaporama humourblague humourhumour et blaguehumour gratuithumour noirhumour sexehumour sexyvideo humourhumourimage comiqueimage humourpps humourblague videovideo comiquevideo humourecran de veille gratuitecran de veillefond d ecran gratuitfond d ecran pcfond ecran sexyfond ecraniconeastuce jeu videotruc et astuceconsole jeuconsole jeuxfrancaise des jeufrancaise des jeuxtelecharger jeujeu actionjeu adultejeu arcadejeu aventurejeu concoursjeu de billardjeu de cartejeu de damejeu de motojeu de rolejeu de strategiejeu de voiturejeu diamantjeu diddljeu educatifjeu enfantjeu erotiquejeu flashjeu frjeu grattagejeu gratuit pour enfantjeu gratuitjeu javajeu en lignejeu pcjeu sexyjeu simulationjeu solitairejeu videojeutelecharger jeuxjeux actionjeux adultejeux arcadejeux aventurejeux concoursjeux de billardjeux de cartejeux de damejeux de motojeux de rolejeux de strategiejeux de voiturejeux diamantjeux diddljeux educatifjeux enfantjeux erotiquejeux flashjeux frjeux grattagejeux gratuit pour enfantjeux gratuitjeux javajeux en lignejeux pcjeux sexyjeux simulationjeux solitairejeux videojeuxpc astuceromjeu gratuit a telechargertelecharger jeujeux gratuit a telechargertelecharger jeuxtrucsclone dvdmp3 gratuitlecteur mp3musique mp3prix mp3sonnerie mp3telechargement musique mp3telecharger chansontelecharger codectelecharger mp3 gratuittelecharger mp3tous les driveradresse msnastuce msnavatarclin d oeil msnclin oeilemoticone gratuitemoticone msnemoticonemsn messengermsn 7.5msn messenger 7.5msn messengermsn plusmsn web messengermsn web messengermsnnouvelle version msntelecharger emoticonetelecharger messenger 7.5telecharger messengertelecharger msn 7.5telecharger msn messenger 7.5telecharger msn messenger 8telecharger msn plustelecharger msntelecharger yahoo messengeryahoo messengerchanson arabechanson d amourchanson enfantinechanson francaisechanson paillardeparole chansonchanson pour enfantparole chansonparole chansonparole de chanson francaiseparole et chansonpartition batteriepartition clarinettepartition de chansonpartition musiquepartition flutepartition gratuitepartition guitarepartition pianopartition saxophonepartitionrire et chansontexte de chansontraduction de chansonbanque postalecarte postale virtuellecarte postaleaperitifcuisinerecette de cuisineporcpouletrecetterecette cuisinesoupe aux chouastrologie chinoiseastrologie gratuiteastrologieles chevaliers du zodiaquehoroscope 2006 gratuithoroscope 2006horoscope amoureuxhoroscope balancehoroscope belierhoroscope cancerhoroscope capricornehoroscope chinoishoroscope du jourhoroscope gemeauhoroscope gratuithoroscope lionhoroscope mensuelhoroscope poissonhoroscope sagittairehoroscope scorpionhoroscope taureauhoroscope verseauhoroscope viergehoroscopejeu de tarotsigne du zodiaquetarot marseilletarot divinatoiretarot en lignetarot gratuittarottirage tarot gratuittirage tarotzodiaquehennemodèle de tatouagepiercing languepiercing nombrilpiercingtatootatouageace mega codecacrobat readerad awarebaladeur mp3clone cdclone dvdcodec audiocodec avicodec divxcodec dvdcodec gratuitpack codeccodec videocodec xvidcodeccompressionconvertir mp3convertisseur mp3codec divxdivx gratuitdivx playerdivxdownload acceleratordriverdvd divxdvd playerdvdedonkey 2000edonkeyemule fremule franceemule gratuitemule paradiseemule plusemuleencodeur mp3enregistreur dvdgraveur dvdhp drivericqimeshjaquette dvdjavakazaa litekazaalecteur mp3logiciel a telechargerlogiciel antiviruslogiciel architecturelogiciel comptabilitelogiciel dessinlogiciel de gravuretelechargement logiciellogiciel de traductionlogiciel gratuitlogicielnero burning romnero expresspack codecripperserveur emuleshareazaskypetelechargement logiciel gratuittelechargement logicieltelechargement p2ptelecharger acrobat readertelecharger ad awaretelecharger antivirustelecharger avasttelecharger divxtelecharger e muletelecharger emule gratuittelecharger emule gratuitementtelecharger emulejeu gratuit a telechargertelecharger javatelecharger kazaa litetelecharger kazaatelecharger nero 6telecharger nero 7telecharger nerotelecharger real playertelecharger shareazatelecharger skypewinamptelecharger winziptelechargertraducteurtrillianwinmxwinrarwinzipzone alarm206 tuningaccessoire tuningaccessoire voiture tuningtuning autobmw tuningboitier tuningmoto tuningparis tuning showpiece auto tuningpiece tuningrallyscooter tuningtuning autotuningvoiture tuningblague blondeblague sur blonde blague de totoblague sur toto blague droledrole de blague blague du jourarbroscope blague jour blague humourhumour et blague blague sur les blondeblague and sur and les and blonde blague telephoneblague telephone portable blague videovideo blague blagueblague humour video comiquecomique diaporama humourhumour diaporama blague humourhumour et blague humour et blagueblague et humour humour gratuitvideo humour gratuit humour noirblague humour noir humour sexesexe humour humour sexysexy humour video humourhumour video humourhumour sexy image comiquecomique image image humourhumour image pps humourhumour pps blague videovideo blague video comiquevideo comique gratuite video humourhumour videochanson arabeparole de chanson arabe chanson d amourparole chanson amour sans amour chanson enfantineartiste divers chanson enfantine et noel chanson francaiseparole de chanson francaise chanson paillardeparole de chanson paillarde parole chansonparole de chanson francaise chanson pour enfantparole de chanson pour enfant parole chansonchanson parole chansonparole de chanson francaise parole de chanson francaisechanson francaise parole parole et chansonparole et traduction de chanson partition batteriepartition batterie gratuite partition clarinettepartition gratuite clarinette partition de chansonpartition chanson francaise partition musiquepartition musique gratuite partition flutepartition flute traversiere partition gratuitepartition piano gratuite partition guitarepartition gratuite guitare partition pianopartition piano gratuite partition saxophonepartition gratuite saxophone partitionpartition de musique rire et chansonradio rire et chanson texte de chansontexte chanson auteur traduction de chansontraduction de parole de chansonadresse msnadresse msn de fille astuce msnmsn astuce avataravatar msn clin d oeil msnclin d oeil msn gratuit clin oeilclin oeil gratuit emoticone gratuitemoticone msn gratuit emoticone msnemoticone msn gratuit emoticoneemoticone gratuit msn messengermessenger msn 7.5msn messenger 7.5 msn messenger 7.5telecharger msn messenger 7.5 msn messengermsn web messenger msn plusmsn messenger plus msn web messengerweb msn messenger msn web messengermsn web msnmsn messenger nouvelle version msnmsn nouvelle version telecharger emoticonetelecharger emoticone gratuit telecharger messenger 7.5telecharger msn messenger 7.5 telecharger messengertelecharger msn messenger 7.5 telecharger msn 7.5telecharger msn messenger 7.5 telecharger msn messenger 7.5telecharger msn messenger 7.5 gratuitement telecharger msn messenger 8msn 8 telecharger msn plustelecharger msn messenger plus telecharger msntelecharger msn 7.5 telecharger yahoo messengertelecharger yahoo messenger 6 yahoo messengertelecharger yahoo messenger anti spyware gratuitanti spyware avast antivirusantivirus avast antivirus en ligneantivirus en ligne gratuit antivirus gratuittelecharger antivirus gratuit antivirus gratuitementtelecharger antivirus gratuitement antivirus pour scannerscanner antivirus antivirus softwaresoftware antivirus antivirusantivirus gratuit avast antivirusantivirus avast avg antivirusantivirus avg avgavg free bitdefenderbitdefender 9 internet security comparatif antivirusantivirus comparatif etrustmy etrust firewallpix and firewall logiciel antiviruslogiciel antivirus gratuit mcafeemcafee com meilleur antivirusmeilleur antivirus gratuit norton antivirus gratuitantivirus norton gratuit norton antivirusnorton antivirus gratuit telecharger nortonnorton panda antivirusantivirus panda spybotspybot search and destroy spywarespyware removal telecharger antivirus gratuitantivirus gratuit a telecharger telecharger antivirustelecharger antivirus gratuit zone alarmzone alarm proclone dvdclone dvd 2 mp3 gratuittelecharger mp3 gratuit lecteur mp3mp3 musique mp3mp3 gratuit musique prix mp3prix baladeur mp3 sonnerie mp3mp3 sonnerie telechargement musique mp3telechargement gratuit de musique mp3 telecharger chansonchanson telecharger telecharger codectelecharger codec divx telecharger mp3 gratuittelecharger musique mp3 gratuit telecharger mp3telecharger mp3 gratuit tous les drivertous les driver .comhennetatouage au henne modele de tatouagetatouage modele piercing languepiercing bijoux langue piercing nombrilbijoux piercing nombril piercingpiercing nombril tatootribal tatoo tatouagetatouage tribal206 tuningtuning 206 accessoire tuningaccessoire voiture tuning accessoire voiture tuningaccessoire tuning pour voiture tuning autoauto tuning bmw tuningtuning bmw boitier tuningboitier pc tuning moto tuningtuning moto paris tuning showparis tuning show 2006 piece auto tuningpiece tuning auto piece tuningpiece auto tuning rallyrally live scooter tuningtuning scooter tuning autoauto tuning tuningvoiture tuning voiture tuningaccessoire voiture tuningskypetelecharger skype telechargement logiciel gratuitlogiciel de telechargement gratuit telechargement logicieltelechargement logiciel gratuit telechargement p2plogiciel telechargement p2p telecharger acrobat readertelecharger acrobat telecharger ad awaread aware telecharger antivirustelecharger antivirus gratuit telecharger avastavast telecharger telecharger divxdivx a telecharger telecharger e muletelecharger e mule gratuitement telecharger emule gratuitemule telecharger gratuit telecharger emule gratuitementtelecharger gratuitement emule telecharger emuletelecharger emule gratuitement jeu gratuit a telechargertelecharger jeu gratuit telecharger javatelecharger java script telecharger kazaa litetelecharger kazaa lite gratuitement telecharger kazaatelecharger kazaa lite telecharger nero 6telecharger nero 6 gratuit telecharger nero 7telecharger nero 7 gratuit telecharger nerotelecharger nero 6 telecharger real playertelecharger real player gratuit telecharger shareazatelecharger shareaza gratuitement telecharger skypeskype telecharger winamptelecharger winamp telecharger winziptelecharger winzip gratuit telechargertelecharger musique traducteurtraducteur anglais francais trilliantrillian pro winmxtelecharger winmx winrartelecharger winrar winzipwinzip gratuit zone alarmzone alarm proace mega codecace mega codec pack acrobat readeracrobat ad awaread aware 6.0 baladeur mp3baladeur cd mp3 clone cdcrack clone cd clone dvdclone dvd 2 codec audiotelecharger codec audio codec aviavi codec codec divxdivx codec codec dvdcodec lecteur dvd codec gratuittelecharger codec gratuit pack codeccodec pack codec videovideo codec codec xvidxvid codec codeccodec divx compressionressort de compression convertir mp3convertir mid en mp3 convertisseur mp3convertisseur wma mp3 codec divxdivx codec divx gratuitfilm divx gratuit divx playertelecharger divx player divxlecteur divx download acceleratordownload accelerator plus drivertous les driver dvd divxlecteur dvd divx dvd playerdvd player for car dvdlecteur dvd edonkey 2000telecharger edonkey 2000 edonkeyedonkey 2000 emule frtelecharger emule fr emule francefrance emuleemule gratuittelecharger emule gratuit emule paradiseemule and paradise emule plustelecharger emule plus emuleemule paradise encodeur mp3encodeur enregistreur dvdlecteur enregistreur dvd graveur dvdgraveur dvd externe hp driverdriver imprimante hp icqte cherche icq i seek you imeshimesh 5 jaquette dvdjaquette dvd gratuite javajeu java kazaa litetelecharger kazaa lite kazaakazaa lite lecteur mp3lecteur mp3 2f multim e9dia logiciel a telechargerlogiciel gratuit a telecharger logiciel antiviruslogiciel antivirus gratuit logiciel architecturelogiciel architecture 3d logiciel comptabilitelogiciel comptabilite gratuit logiciel dessinlogiciel dessin 3d logiciel de gravurelogiciel gravure dvd telechargement logicieltelechargement logiciel gratuit logiciel de traductiontraduction logiciel logiciel gratuittelechargement logiciel gratuit logiciellogiciel gratuit nero burning romnero burning nero expressnero vision express pack codeccodec pack ripperripper dvd serveur emuleliste serveur emule shareazatelecharger shareaza