The Opportunity of Divorce
A new life in Europe has had the unexpected consequence of increased divorce rates within immigrant and refugee communities. Chitra Ramaswamy explores a very modern phenomenon.
A new life in Europe has had the unexpected consequence of increased divorce rates within immigrant and refugee communities. Part of the reason is due to changing gender roles, but a lack of opportunities and the stress of adapting to a new language and culture also contribute to the break-up of relationships.
Sweden is renowned for gender equality. Almost all Swedish dads take paternity leave and there are more women in employment here than anywhere else in the EU. This has had a knock-on effect on immigrant communities. Until recently, Sweden admitted more refugees per capita than anywhere else in Europe. Sweden has a population of 9 million, and in 2016, 163,000 refugees arrived, so the country is very focussed on efforts to help assimilate and settle new residents.
This hasn't necessarily been a positive thing in terms of relationships. A recent study showed uncharacteristically high divorce rates amongst immigrant communities. In Iran, for example, about 20% of marriages end in divorce, while 48% of Iranian women in Sweden had divorced within 15 years of marriage. So how does this translate in the UK?
Chitra Ramaswamy explores a very modern phenomenon.