The National Centre for Statistics and Information has said that the number of registered marriages has decreased from 25,659 in 2015 to 24,014 in 2016 and 22,284 in 2017.The number of divorce cases has gone up during this period from 3,619 in 2015 to 3,736 and 3,867 in 2017.
Speaking about the developments, Khalid Tabook, a social researcher, said, “Divorce cases have gone up due to several reasons such as lack of awareness concerning marital life and lack of knowledge about undertaking medical tests before marriage. In other cases, parents force their children to marry against their wishes leading to problems later.
“Increased costs have delayed marriages leading to problems in couples’ lives. Some parents interfere in couples’ personal lives leading to divorces.”
Tabook said that there is a need to spread awareness on reducing marriage costs, marrying at the right age and spreading awareness about life after. “I call on young people to follow the marriage guidance programme of the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD). This programme helps couples plan their married life better.”
Wadha Salim al Alawi, assistant director, Department of Family Counselling and Guidance, MoSD said, “We offer many programmes and lectures to spread awareness related to family issues. We have the National Program for Marriage Counselling (Tamasik). This programme aims to prepare young people for marriage. Those who are married have benefited from our programme across the sultanate.
“We help the youth in choosing the right life partner and spread health awareness among those who want to marry. We encourage them to undergo necessary medical tests before the marriage.”
She said that MoSD has organised 65 lectures and courses which were attended by 13,570 people in 2017. “Our programme has targeted 2,813 private and government institutions such as clubs, schools, universities, some military bodies, health institutions, Omani women’s associations, the Ministry of Education and civil society organisations.”