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Day 41 – Q 2.Examine the factors that can be attributed to the rising divorce rates in India.

2. Examine the factors that can be attributed to the rising divorce rates in India. 

भारत में बढ़ती तलाक की दरों के लिए जिम्मेदार कारकों की जांच करें।


The number of divorcees has doubled over the past two decades, as per a report of United Nations titled “Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020: Families in a Changing World”. 

As per the census, 1.36 million people in India are divorced. That is equivalent to 0.24% of the married population, and 0.11% of the total population. More strikingly, the number of people separated is almost thrice the number of people divorced – 0.61% of the married population and 0.29% of the total population.


Rising divorce rates in India can be seen through various lenses. One is increasing empowerment in women. 

  • The landmark Hindu Code Bill passed in the parliament in the mid-1950s gave women property rights, outlawed polygamy and allowed partners to file for divorce. The laws were further tweaked in 1976 to allow divorce by mutual consent.
  • Over time, the traditional joint family has given way to nuclear families in cities and towns; and more and more women are going to work or setting up their own businesses. Many urban women no longer have to depend on their spouses for financial security, men are sharing household chores; and gender equations are slowly changing.
  • United Nations report titled “Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020: Families in a Changing World” point out that the age of marriage has increased in all regions, while birth rates have declined, and women have increased economic autonomy;

Other perspective of looking at it is violence against women.

  • Millions of women and girls live in countries where rape within marriage is not explicitly criminalized.
  • With socio-economic-politico empowerment of women, and voice through movement like #MeToo movement, women are more confident to unshackle themselves from marriages that put them to violent subjugation. 

Other reasons –

  • Also given that rates of living together before marriage are extremely low in India and marriage is universal, it wouldn’t be surprising that for some members of the younger people, first marriages can end up in divorce.
  • Adultery and incompatibility are the two common reasons that are cited for the breakup
  • More women divorced and separated – is even more striking, and tells a story about India’s gender biases and how patriarchy operates.

Different pattern of divorce throughout India

  • Divorce and separation rates in the north-eastern states – where tribal laws allow for informal relations and women sometimes enjoy a relatively higher status because of a matrilineal system – are relatively higher than elsewhere in India.
  • Northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan which are known to be deeply patriarchal have much lower divorce and separation rates.


India’s divorce rate stood at 1% in 2017, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. While the absolute number of divorces has gone up from 1 in 1,000 to 13 in 1,000 over the last decade or so, India still remains at the top of the list of countries with the lowest divorce rates.

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