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SWO Plan to Arrest High Divorce Rate
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SWO Plan to Arrest High Divorce Rate

The State Welfare Organization (SWO) is to put into effect a plan “from this week to reduce the divorce rate.”
The plan, it is claimed, was effective in a pilot project in Yazd Province and helped reduce the rate of divorce by up to 63%. This means from among every 100 couples in Yazd Province, 63 changed their decision to get divorced after attending the counseling sessions run in centers affiliated to the SWO, Iran newspaper reports.
On how the plan works, the head of SWO, Homayoun Hashemi, says: “Each couple who has filed for divorce is given a file and a social worker, and they are sent to a counseling center. According to the type of problems they deal with, whether it is economic or social, like addiction and etc., they are advised to refer to a specialist center for further assistance.”
What is inferred from Hashemi’s statement is that during the rehabilitation process, along with the reasons for divorce cited, the couples’ other problems such as addiction will also be resolved.
However, to better utilize the plan, the SWO needs to take a more realistic look at the divorce rate in the country, the newspaper report says.
In the past three years, the ratio of divorce to marriage has risen 20%. Statistics show that Tehran and Alborz Provinces top the list of high divorce rates with a 35% increase.
Youth, between the age of 25 and 30, comprise the largest group of divorcees, 15 to 20% of whom have separated within the first 5 years of marriage.

 Marriages Rise
In the first three months of the current Iranian year (started March 21) close to 198,937 marriages were registered, a 1% rise compared to the same period last year. But in the same period, 36,342 divorces signify a 4% rise, a rate higher than the marriages registered.
From among the 30 million young Iranians, 16.2% in the age group 27-29 are found to be divorced with unemployment, addiction, and domestic violence among the major reasons.
The question that arises is: taking into account the high figures and given the limited facilities, and possibilities, will the authorities of the SWO be able to address and solve the numerous issues and problems facing prospective divorces?! And with what backing and support is the SWO planning to put the plan into action?!
Simply put, Hashemi finds the answer in a MoU. The plan is to be executed under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the SWO and the judiciary giving the former more leverage to handle divorce cases.

 Cooperation
Though, Hashemi calls for the cooperation and assistance of the interior ministry and the municipalities to effectively implement the plan.
In response to a question on why Yazd with the lowest divorce rate was chosen for piloting the plan, he explained: “Having the required facilities and readiness to execute the plan, Yazd was selected in spite of the low rate of divorce in the province.”
Hashemi mentioned 7 major causes including addiction, poverty, and unemployment for the high divorce rate in the country and stressed that “these are interrelated as one leads to another and so on.”
He emphasized that the issue of divorce is in dire need of being addressed by the authorities and pointed out that pre-marital counseling and training sessions are now held in 180 counseling centers across the country.

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