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Stigmatization of Female Divorcees

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By: Deborah Phillips

“Divorce is a fire exit. When a house is burning, it doesn’t matter who set the fire. If there is no fire exit, everyone in the house will be burned.” Mehmet Murat Ildan. But why are the female divorcees always blamed for every divorce when it takes two to destroy a marriage?

In our society today, the women are always held responsible for a broken marriage. They are blamed, insulted and sometimes ridiculed while nothing is done to the men. In some cases, they are often seen as irresponsible and some even say they have loose characters and want to be independent. It is even worse if she is a working class lady. They will say she has no respect for the husband and other nasty things.

When she falls in love with a married man, haaaa! She wants to destroy another marriage. When she falls in love with a single, young man, she is catching them young. Even when a suitor comes her way, he is subjected to all kinds of questioning like, have you asked the reason why she was divorced? Or are you sure she is not loosed and many others.

When it comes to the men, nothing like that happens. They are seen as responsible men. Most divorced men get married within some months or a few years after they are divorced and the society see nothing wrong with it. But not when it is a female divorcee, all hell will be let loosed.

Research has showed that female divorcees suffer most when a marriage is broken. From psychological to emotional trauma, especially when the marriage is blessed with a child or children who are taken away from their mothers. Some 0f these trauma are financial distress, emotional distress which results to hypertension, temperament, self destruction which in some cases leads to death.

Rahma Indimi an ex wife of Mohammed Babangida, shared a Facebook post where she lamented how she misses her daughter who has been separated from her for almost a year now. Her words I can’t believe it is almost a year that I have not set my eyes on you. It breaks my heart that I’m not there for your birthday. It hurts that we are not together but I won’t quit fighting for you. I may win , I may not win but one thing I want you to know when you grow up is that i fought for you. May Allah give us strength “Amen”.

Also Blessing Okunbor 34, a divorcee who lives in Brigade area of Kano state says, I am neglected and frustrated by my ex husband. I go through psychological and emotional pains every day to provide for my daughter because my salary cannot even meet our needs. Am left with a daughter all by myself. The father doesn’t care about her and doesn’t call or come to check on her. Our society is not helping matters at all. They see us as irresponsible especially here in the north.

The society must desist from this stigmatisation by showing these female divorcees love and affection. Before raising a finger at a female divorcee, we must think about our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and sympathies with the kind of trauma they have gone through or are currently going through.

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