Chinese women now initiate majority of divorces

March 5th, 2011 - 11:29 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 5 (IANS) Women in China are now taking the lead in filing for divorce, with 70 percent of cases initiated by wives in 2010.

Incompatibility, extramarital affairs and domestic violence were the major causes behind the breakups, China Daily reported.

The People’s Court of Shunyi district, in northeast Beijing, released statistics based on the approximately 800 divorce cases it handled in 2010.

Though statistics across the country were not available, Shunyi’s statistics mirror a nationwide rise in the number of women suing their husbands who have mistresses or use domestic violence, the report said.

China’s top court has drafted an interpretation of the marriage law, which says wives could sue to recover money or property that ended up in the hands of a mistress.

“An increasing number of women do not feel ashamed to divorce their husbands,” said Gao Lei, a judge of the Shunyi court. “Instead, they have a growing consciousness to legally protect their interests.”

Figures at the Shunyi court show 35 percent of couples dissolved their marriage because of incompatibility and 27 percent because of extramarital affairs, followed by 25 percent because of domestic violence.

Around 25 percent of estranged couples ended relationships of more than two decades.

In Foshan, a city in Guangdong province, the majority of divorce lawsuits were also started by wives fed up with their wayward husbands, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

Across the country, 1.96 million couples applied for divorce while only 1.2 million tied the knot in 2010, figures released by the ministry of civil affairs show.

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