September 29 2022 7:22 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Local initiative helps women bear brunt of divorce

divorce
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Hidab, a pseudonym that a divorced woman preferred to use when speaking to Petra about her traumatic divorce 22 years ago. Before obtaining an official divorce, Hadhab says she has endured what she calls a "silent divorce" for three years to avoid a social stigma that forced her to live a "sham marriage" instead of a separation, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان
 
 Although divorce saved her from the clutches of an abusive husband, Hidab says that she fell into a vicious cycle of financial abuse by her father after she moved to live in the family home. She adds that her father clamped down on her life under the pretext that a divorced woman may bring shame to her family, leaving her with only a tiny portion of her hard-earned salary.
 
 Because she has an independent mindset, as she put it, Hidab believed in her cause and refused to give in to abuse and moved to an Arab country with her children, where she spent 17 years before returning to Jordan and trying to reach out to other divorced women, hoping to find solutions to their problems.
 
 Hidab became involved in a local initiative called "No Suffering," which advocates for divorced women, joint custody of children following mothers' remarriage, and legal assistance in alimony and custody disputes. The initiative also aims to connect with single mothers, help them overcome societal stereotypes, and empower them economically.
 
 Journalist and women's rights advocate Nadine Al-Nimri asserts that whether or not a woman is a mother, she needs to have agency and financial independence to live on her own.
 
 It's not just about seizing their money; it's also about preventing them from making their own decisions about how to spend it or even preventing them from getting a job, all of which renders them more vulnerable, Nimri says.
 
 According to its founder, Avin Al-Kurdi, the "No Suffering" initiative aims to empower single mothers and their kids, increase public awareness of shared custody following divorce, and address societal perceptions of "divorced women" and "children of divorced families" to shield them from the bullying they experience.
 
 Kurdi argues that the alimony specified by the law is "irrational" and does not cover the children's expenses and the mother's other responsibilities.
 
 Kurdi says: "We are a group of volunteers with a message to policymakers about the plight of divorced women and their children. We want them to change a section of Jordan's Personal Status Law to protect the best interests of divorced families' children."
 
 She claims that divorced mothers and their children will suffer if they lose custody when they remarry.
 
 According to lawyer Akef Al-Maaytah, the initiative's main goal is to amend Article 171/b of Jordan's Personal Status Law No. 15 of 2019, which prohibits a mother from retaining custody of her children if she remarries to someone other than her ex-husband.
 
 Maaytah points out that, while some mothers marry outside of Jordan to avoid this article, they may lose custody if they are exposed, resulting in a new crisis represented by relinquishing custody of children or breaking up the new marriage.
 
 Maaytah supports the argument that children should remain in their mother's custody even if she remarries, as long as safeguards are in place to ensure the children's safety and psychosocial well-being.


Read more Features

Jordan News