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Most Women Who Got Divorced were Pushed Towards It, The Hindu Editorial Analysis

The Hindu Editorial Analysis: The Editorial Analysis of The Hindu Newspaper Editorial Articles aimed at simplifying various concepts relevant to the UPSC and other State PSC Exams. The Editorial Analysis helps in expanding the knowledge base as well as framing better quality mains answers. Today’s Hindu Editorial Analysis of ‘Most women who got divorced were pushed towards it’ discusses how sexual abuse by husbands pushing women to seek divorce and also discusses this in the context of recent supreme court judgement on removing mandatory cooling off period in cases of a marriage being “wrecked beyond hope of salvage,”.

Supreme Court on Divorce in News

The Supreme Court has provided relief for couples in marriages that are beyond repair by stating that the cooling-off period of six to 18 months would only cause more harm. The court has used its discretion under Article 142 of the Constitution to provide justice for such couples.

Causes of Divorce

The recent judgment by the Supreme Court could potentially alleviate the distress faced by Indian women who seek divorce.

  • According to data from the National Family Health Survey-5, a larger proportion of women who are divorced or separated in India have reported instances of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by their previous husbands as compared to those who are currently married.
  • Such women also encountered more restrictions on their mobility and had limited say in their spending decisions during their marriage.
  • Additionally, a higher percentage of divorced women have reported being subjected to suspicion by their husbands during the course of their marriage.

Data on Violence Faced by Divorced Women

The prevalence of emotional violence, such as insults, humiliation, and threats, was two times higher among divorced women compared to currently married women.

  • Additionally, the percentage of divorced women who experienced sexual violence during their marriage was 42.9%, which is twice the percentage of currently married women (27.3%).
  • Moreover, the percentage of divorced women who faced physical violence during pregnancy was two and a half times higher compared to currently married women.

Mental and Physical Violence as Main Reason for Divorce

It is worth noting that the proportion of currently married women who have experienced abuse from their husbands is relatively low, despite the high percentage among divorced/separated women. However, more than 30% of currently married women have faced emotional, physical, or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Shockingly, almost 80% of them did not disclose this to anyone, which partly explains the low rate of divorce in India.

  • According to NFHS report, Divorced/separated women were more likely to face accusations of infidelity from their most recent husband during their marriage.
  • About 21% of divorced/separated women were accused by their most recent husband of being unfaithful during the marriage compared to 10.1% of currently married women.
  • Additionally, a higher share of divorced/separated women experienced marital control by their husbands compared to currently married women.
  • These findings suggest that the decision of women to end their marriage was often a result of long-term physical and emotional abuse, rather than being based on flimsy or selfish reasons.
  • This contradicts the perception held by some, as observed by the Kerala High Court in September last year.

Significance of Recent Supreme Court Judgement

According to available data, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling can aid women in swiftly moving on with their lives, as divorced women have a higher rate of employment compared to currently married women.

  • About 49.1% of divorced or separated women were employed, whereas only 26.6% of currently married women were employed.
  • Additionally, divorced women had greater freedom of movement compared to currently married women.
  • They also had more control over their spending decisions, with 72.8% of divorced women being allowed to make their own monetary decisions.


Although divorced women have gained greater independence after separation, their freedom is not absolute. Only around 70% of them are permitted to travel alone to various places and make decisions about their money.

A Good Divorce, The Hindu Editorial Analysis

A Good Divorce, The Hindu Editorial Analysis

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What is the cooling-off period in divorce cases?

The cooling-off period is a mandatory waiting period of six months between the first and the second motion for divorce. During this period, the court encourages couples to reconsider their decision and attempt to reconcile.

Why did the Supreme Court say the cooling-off period can cause more harm?

The court observed that in cases where the marriage is beyond repair, the cooling-off period can cause more harm than good. It can prolong the agony and suffering of the parties involved and worsen their mental and emotional state.

What is Article 142 of the Constitution?

Article 142 of the Constitution of India grants the Supreme Court the power to pass any order necessary to do complete justice in any case or matter pending before it. This provision is often used in cases where the law falls short of providing justice or relief to the parties involved.

Can the Supreme Court use Article 142 in divorce cases?

Yes, the Supreme Court can use its extraordinary discretion under Article 142 to provide justice to parties involved in divorce cases. This can be done in cases where the law falls short of providing relief or where the parties are trapped in bitter marriages beyond repair.

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