Saudi women have taken to social media to contest figures released by the General Authority of Statistics indicating that women who do not work are less likely to get a divorce. The study showed that on average, the number of working women who have divorced was 72,895, whereas the number of stay-at-home wives who divorce was 14,856. No explanation was given as to the reason behind the divorces. It has also led many to use the statistics as empirical evidence against allowing women to work, reiterating that a woman’s place is in the home. On social media, Saudi women began their fight back using a hashtag, which is translated to ‘work is not the reason for divorce’, which then instigated a Twitter debate among Saudis.
السعوديات الموظفات أكثر طلاقاً من العاطلات
الإحصاء: 72 ألف زوجة طلقت بسبب عملها عام1437هـ
ما السبب في ظنك ؟
— د. محمد #العريفي (@MohamadAlarefe) December 21, 2016
Saudi Imam Mohamad Alarefe added a poll on Twitter to discover the reason behind the increase in divorce number: “POLL: 72,000 wives divorced because of their work in 1437. What is the reason? She’s too busy for her husband (35%) She feels she is no longer in need of a husband (65%).”
اذا كان الطلاق مرعب ومخيف فإعلمي ان البطاله وعدم الاستقلال مادياً أشد رعباً
وظيفتك ثم وظيفتك ثم وظيفتك?#الوظيفه_ليست_سبب_طلاق
— ❤️ ألين❤️ Aleen❤️ (@newname1100) December 21, 2016
Aleen wrote: “My dear women, if divorce is scary, then know being unemployed and being dependent is even more scary. Your job, then your job, then your job.”
بعض النساء "تُعَير"زوجها انها أفضل منه وظيفيا وأكثر منه مالا ، ونست انها من وافق عليه عندما تقدم لطلب رجلها.!!
— أحمد سعد القرني (@AHMAD_S_ALGARNI) December 23, 2016
Ahmad S Algarni tweeted: “Some women put their husbands down because she is financially independent, but has she forgot that she accepted him when he proposed.”
#الوظيفه_ليست_سبب_طلاق الوظيفة توفر لك استقلالك المادي حتى لو زوجك انسان رائع هل تضمني المستقبل ، ليش تعيشي محتاجة للناس لو صارله شيء
— آية Ayah (@ayloulbk) December 21, 2016
Ayah wrote in favour of women working: “A job offers you financial independence. Even if your husband is a wonderful man, can you guarantee the future? Why continue to be dependant?”