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The Higher Population Council commemorates World Population Day
The Higher Population Council commemorates World Population Day
Tuesday, 11 July 2023

With the participation of relevant national authorities and in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund, the Higher Population Council held a meeting to commemorate World Population Day, which falls on the 11th of July of each year. The meeting aimed to launch a fact sheet on ‘divorce’ cases in 2015 through 2022, and to review the latest demographic indicators in Jordan.

Dr. Issa Al-Masarweh, HPC Secretary-General pointed out the fact that 35 years ago, the population on our planet surpassed 5 billion people. At the time, the United Nations announced the eleventh of July a day to mark World Population Day. This came to remind countries of the world, governments and civil societies, the private sector and individuals of their obligations towards achieving environmentally friendly sustainable development that is mindful and aware of the effects of current and future demographic features and changes. Since that time, the population explosion has been on the rise to exceed 8 billion people who coexist with the varying environmental, life, economic and social challenges.

UN Population Fund representative in Jordan, Lionel Laforgue, stated that the main theme of World Population Day 2023 was ‘Unleashing the power of gender equality: Uplifting the voices of women and girls to unlock the infinite possibilities of our world.’ The theme reflects Jordan’s solid commitment to promoting an all-encompassing and just society. Dr. Masarweh ascertained that gender equality in Jordan is not a mere goal, but rather a precondition to achieve sustainable development, peace and prosperity.  Dr. Masarweh went on to add that the progress of our nation is closely associated with the empowerment and advancement of women and girls.

During the meeting, Al-Masarweh reviewed the fact sheet presented on Divorce in Jordan (2015-2022). He said that the paper seeks to raise and address questions regarding certain concerns of some parties about divorce in Jordan, with no data or evidence provided by these parties about their concerns and fears.

  • What is the ratio of marriages to divorces?

The paper showed that the total number of marriages (normal and repeated) for the past eight years (2015-2022) was (585,429), at an annual average of (73,179) marriages (noting that not all married women were Jordanians, nor were all married men Jordanians), while the total number of divorces for the same period was (150097) cases excluding divorce cases before consummation at an annual average of (18762). Thus, the ratio of marriage cases to divorce cases is about 4 marriages compared to one divorce after marriage.

  • Have divorce rates increased during the past eight years?                   The paper showed that the crude divorce rate (crude divorce rate refers to the number of divorces per 1,000 persons of the mean population) for divorce cases after consummation during the years (2015-2022) does not reflect a clear rising trend, rather, the rate was somehow fluctuating to some extent depending on the data of the denominator where the lowest rate was 1.53 and the highest rate was 1.97 divorces per 1000 persons in 2021. That year witnessed additional recorded divorce cases due to the closure of Shari’a court houses for several months in the previous year in which the lowest divorce cases were recorded as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. According to international statistics, Jordan ranked 58th in world crude divorce rates in 2023.
  • Did all divorces take place after consummation of marriage?             The paper showed that not all divorce cases were for couples who were actually married, meaning that divorce took place before marriage and before the two parties shared a life together and stated a family. Data indicates that about 28% of divorce cases registered in Shari’a courts in the past eight years were before the consummation or marriage, that is, divorce occurred  onto the marriage contracts only without consummation or marriage. This means that the actual making of a family and birth did not take place. Hence, there are no consequences for this type of divorce with no children, which also enhances the chances of remarriage for women who were divorced before consummation.
  • Do divorced women stand a chance to remarry?                                    The paper showed that statistics indicate that about 15% to 22% of the marriages registered during the past eight years were for divorced women, that is, their marriage had already been contracted, it was not ascertained, though, whether or not the divorce happened before consummation. It cannot be ruled out that the percentage of those with whom this happened is quite high. Overall, the total percentage of divorced women who have been remarried out of the total marriages during the past eight years was 18.3%, and that a high percentage of divorces of married women is a revocable divorce, that is, it can be reverted. In 2022 alone, the rate of revocable divorce cases was 23.3% of the total divorce cases for that particular year.