Divorce more likely when women are financially independent: study

July 25, 2018

TEHRAN – A new study proves that women’s financial independence, especially in the first years of marriage, negatively affects the stability of families.

One of the important factors that create changes in families is the presence of married women in economic activities, ISNA quoted a research jointly made by Garmsar’s branch of the Islamic Azad University and Tehran’s branch of Science and Research.

The target group in this study were all married women and men residing in Tehran. The research was conducted based on field study and survey methods.
The researchers deal with the role of women’s financial independence in stability of families, explaining that although women are mainly active in lower-paying jobs than their husband, they enjoy an economic independence.

Many of these women consider their income as additional to their husband’s income which is considered as a main source of families earning by both husbands and wives.

Social scientists believe that in Iranian families, men are traditionally considered as the breadwinners and owner of financial sources and women receive some money for home expenditures.

Since men and women behave differently when it comes to money, when women gain money the traditional economic balance of families will be affected and men are no longer considered to be the some breadwinner.

Does financial resources reduce family stability?

The results of this study show that the introduction of money and fiscal policies has changed social conditions and affected the foundation of family. The change in the position of women in society and their access to money has also changed the family structure.

Based on the study’s results, women have gradually been able to play a more significant role in the economy of family. But women's access to money creates some new challenges between couples, and one of the most important challenges is the change of the key role of the breadwinner in the family.

In other words, women take part in this role, which can lead to some expectations or tensions between couples.

Women's income and its impact on the family

These conditions, especially in the early years of marriage, are more likely to lead to the emergence of the idea of ??separation, explained Soheyla Alirezanejad, associate professor of sociology, faculty of humanities, Garmsar’s Islamic Azad University.

It is noteworthy to explain that financial tension alone does not result in divorce, but if there are other factors [deriving divorce] in the first years of marriage, financial issues can also play an influential role in this regard, she emphasized. 

On the other hand, some years later, when the families achieve an economic stability, the idea of ??separation is greatly fade away and despite the economic problems which still persist the women's desire for separation is diminished.

The decline in women's desire for divorce can be due to different reasons, such as getting older and having good financial conditions, presence of children and even increasing skills of wives in managing family finances alongside husbands.

An increasing number of women are also looking for success in business life.

Although women traditionally had access to financial resources other than what they received from their spouses by receiving gifts from their parents or inheritance, wage labor has provided them with a special source of funding that can influence economic relations within the family. 

Pointing out that money as a catalyst has a dual effect on women's desire for separation, Dr. Alirezanejad and her colleague believe that woman's income can affect the traditional role of a man as a breadwinner.

Man's inability to play a role as breadwinner causes a challenge in the family, because women and men involved in the study consider it as men’s duty.
The results of this study, which highlight the increasing knowledge and ability of women in family finances, as well involving in the mutual breadwinning in order to increase the stability of families, have been published in the journal of Women in Development and Politics. This publication belongs to the Center for Women's Studies and Research of the University of Tehran.

NM/MQ/MG

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