Data released by the women and child development ministry showed that the number of divorced and separated women in the country had touched 2,342,930 as per the 2001 census from 1,426,700 in 1991 “which shows increase in the number of divorced/separated women in the decade”.
In this connection, the Rajya Sabha last year passed the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill that provides for the wife getting a share in the husband’s immovable property after an “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage.
The bill also seeks to empower the courts to decide the compensation amount from the husband’s inherited and inheritable property for the wife and children once the marriage legally ends.
The survey – The Economic Rights and Entitlements of Separated and Divorced Women India – conducted couple of years ago by Supreme Court advocate Kirti Singh found that in about 85 percent of cases, separated women bear single-handedly the burden of looking after their children.
The nationwide survey also found that 75 percent of women return to their natal family post-separation. While nearly half the women reported they had no income, 28 percent earned less than Rs.2,500 ($40) a month.