Background of the study
Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. A male divorcee is called divorcé, while a female divorcee is called divorcée, also, marriage is the formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife (Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th Edition, 2009). Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage by judgment of a court or by accepted custom. It can also be called a total separation (Collins English Dictionary, 2011). It is also a legal way of ending marriage (Macmillan School Dictionary, 2011). The family occupies a pivotal place in every society and in the Africa continent at large. It is indeed the bedrock of the state, nation, continent, and world at large. Healthy families produces a healthy nation and healthy continent while weak families breed weak, corrupt, and a disarray nation and continent. For a nation and continent or the world at large to be at peace, it must first be settled from the family. The sanity in the continent will never rise above that of the family. Divorce in Africa is a persistent event which effects into immediate and a continous results. Before divorce can be treated in Africa as a continent, it must be traced out from the developed continents like Europe. Majority of the countries in Africa are referred to as developing countries, therefore, the level of globalization is still on a crawling stage. A developed nation is described as a nation that critically examines the external environment in order to sort out the positive and the negative impacts that such externalities can cause when been imbibed and then find a way of imbibing the positive aspects of it. A developing nation simply imbibed the externalities without critical examinations and as a result of this, the rate of divorce in many African homes increases rapidly.
Discouraging socio- cultural effect that influence divorce and/or separation have long been matters of concern to spouses in Africa especially in Nigeria where divorce affects the overall development of women. For instance, a divorced woman suffers discrimination because she is neither accepted in her matrimonial nor maternal home. However, some actions against divorced women are done in other to humiliate them for bringing shame and dishonour to their maternal families . In yoruba tradition, men who have large acres of farmland are encouraged to engage in multiple marriages so as to have women who would work in the farms. Women who are lazy to do farm work or not so fertile as to have large number of children who would also work in the farm were divorced. This means that hard work and high fertility were the basis for successful marriages. Today, with increase in education and less emphasis on farming as only means of generating income, marrying many wives, or having large number of children are no more necessary . Modern marriage institutions are time-honoured on policies that are increasingly mimicking western models where indigenous cultures are often overlooked. Such marriage institutions are established by forces external to the community and characterized by functional and structural arrangements that are fairly standard and reflect specific image of western development. Marriage institutions represent established systems of authority and other phenomena derived from socio-cultural and historical processes with roots from the culture. Such indigenous institutions reflect the knowledge, experiences and level of development of the local people. Each society has its own peculiar actions and/ or behaviour that signal divorce and what obtains in one society, to a large extent influences that in another society . For instance, infidelity, infertility, laziness and unhygienic behaviours are some of the major causes of divorce in many societies and women with these attributes are usually returned to their parents. Divorce is viewed as a social prejudice used to subdue women in most societies agrees with this opinion only in the area of stringent gender roles, where women perform majority of roles in the family.
Statement of research problem
Divorce in recent times have been widely accepted among nigerian women, mostly because of civilization and the improvement in laws and policy that have guided divorce. Therefore, the research sought to answer the question; what is the effect of socio-cultural beliefs on the divorce rate among nigerian women
Objectives of the study
The main objective of this study is to examine:
l To eexamine socio-cultural beliefs as they influence the divorce rates among Nigerians.
l to examine how the educational background and religious affiliation affect the divorce rates among nigerians.
l It also aims at suggesting possible strategies for reducing or solving the problems of divorce in the family
For the purpose of this paper, four research questions were raised and shall be answered.
1. What are the causes of divorce in nigerian homes?
2. What are the solutions that can reduce or check-mate the rate of divorce and also bring together the divorcee?
3. What can the marriage counsellors do to assist couples who are struggling with their marriages?
4. What recommendations does the literature present to adults who are preparing to for marriage?
Significance of the study
The study is considered significant for the following reason:
l It will bring more exposure to the examination of the effect of socio-cultural beliefs on divorce rate among nigerian women
l findings from this study will serve as a benchmark for, religious organizations, government agencies , individuals and academia
l It will also serve as a guide to future researcherse as it forms a basis on which other studies can be undertaken on the effect socio-cultural beliefs on divorce among among nigerian women.
Scope of the study
This study intends to examine the effect of socio-cultural beliefs on divorce rate among Nigerian women. Hence, this study is delimited to Oyo state ,in the southwestern part of Nigera.
Limitations of the study
During the course of this study challenges encountered were that of:
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher
Operational definition of terms
Socio-cultural– this is something that involves the sociocultural aspect of a persons life
Divorce– this is the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body.