Cheating and violence have Chinese women calling for divorce

Women filed three-quarters of the divorces in China last year, official figures show

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 2:14pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 6:43pm

Chinese women filed over 70 per cent of divorce lawsuits last year and domestic violence was one of the most cited reasons, according to official statistics.

Most of the 1.4 million divorce lawsuits filed involved couples about three years into marriage, a report by the Supreme People’s Court shows.

Women filed 73 per cent of the cases, the report said.

Over 77 per cent of the lawsuits cited incompatibility as the major reason, while 15 per cent cited domestic violence, including physical and verbal abuse.

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The southern provinces of Guangdong and Guizhou and the Guangxi region were at the top of list for the number of abuse cases reported, said the report, which was released last Friday.

Divorce, once seen as a social taboo in China, has become increasingly accepted by the public.

The divorce rate has steadily risen over the past few years, accounting for three per cent of the population in 2016 up from two per cent six years ago, according to latest statistics from China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs.

A total of 4.2 million couples divorced in 2016, jumping by 8.3 per cent from the previous year.

Apart from domestic violence, cheating on partners can also be a major factor behind divorce.

A poll of 70,000 internet users by Tencent News in 2016 found over 60 per cent of men surveyed admitted cheating on their girlfriend or wife, while 30 per cent of women had done the same.

More than 30 per cent of the male respondents and 13 per cent of the females thought hiring prostitutes did not constitute cheating, according to the survey results.

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The likelihood of cheating increased with a person’s income, the survey suggested.

Nearly 52 per cent of those earning 20,000 yuan (US$3,180) or more a month had cheated, while the number was just 24 per cent among those earning less than 2,000 yuan.

In the United States, the number of divorces per 1,000 married couples in 2015 dropped to 16.9, the lowest level in nearly 40 years, according to the National Centre for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.