The Syrian regime’s media attributes the “social collapse” in the country to the “biased media” and the Internet, accusing them of injecting “Western values” into society, particularly concerning the rising divorce rates.
In a nation where officials avoid transparent discussions about economic collapse, widespread poverty affecting around 90% of the population, and food insecurity threatening 60% of them (according to the United Nations), it is evident that such demagogic narratives, creating an imaginary enemy to scapegoat for the country’s problems, serve to deflect popular discontent.
Pro-regime media cites statements from Sharia judge Yahya al-Khaja, who points to the influence of certain media outlets promoting a culture alien to Syrian society and values that undermine family unity, making divorce more prevalent. Khaja acknowledges material reasons and housing shortages as primary contributors to divorce, alongside shifts in general culture and social norms.
Contrastingly, divorced women face stigmatization, particularly for supposedly “destroying their homes,” as portrayed in dramas, programs, and dialogues. These mediums either directly criticize them or indirectly endorse the image of the ideal woman who sacrifices personal ambitions, happiness, ideas, and peace of mind for the sake of “family continuity.”
Khaja notes that while infidelity is a factor in divorces, it is largely linked to social media. Divorce rates, constituting a third of registered marriages in Syria, have slightly increased over the years, reaching approximately 37% of marriages. This percentage, he claims, is “normal and not exaggerated.”
Official data from the Central Bureau of Statistics in 2022 reveals that in 2021, 237,944 marriage contracts were registered in Syria, with 41,957 divorce certificates issued during the same year, representing 17.6% of the total incidents of registered marriage contracts.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.