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Posted On: 24 January 2009 04:45 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

A nuclear marriage

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Young Qatari women planning to marry are insisting that a clause be included in their wedding contracts that they be provided independent accommodation so that they can live with their husbands away from their in-laws. This is a new and disturbing trend in a community which is known for its age-old values where tribes and joint families have enjoyed prime importance, regret elders. No formal marriage contracts were, in fact, signed in Qatar earlier. This is a new development, said community activist Hassan Al Jefairi. All marriage contracts are endorsed by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and are legally valid. In case a husband fails to comply with the conditions specified in the contract, his wife has the right to move court for divorce, said Al Jefairi. According to him, the rate of divorce in the country is one of the highest in the region and one of the factors cited by sociologists is ‘too much interference’ in a newly-married couple’s life by the parents and siblings of husbands. And with the concept of nuclear family gaining ground due to changing social realities, Qatari women of marriageable age do not prefer any more to live with their in-laws under one roof. Al Jefairi said that since many newly-married Qatari men do not have houses of their own, they find it difficult to comply with the clause on independent housing. So they eventually end up looking for rented accommodation.