Fixing product prices by the government in order to reduce inflation which is considered a heavy financial burden on families living in UAE, increasing the salaries of employees ...

By Lina Abdul Rahman (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Fri 2 Dec 2005, 3:23 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:09 PM

reducing marriage dowry and encouraging early marriage while immediately solving any problem being faced by any member of the family are among the main factors that can lead to family stability.

According to a research titled 'The Arab Families : Reality and Challenges' conducted by Dr Ahmed Falah Al Omosh, Professor of Sociology in the University of Sharjah, frequent fights and conflicts between parents, polygamy, the absence of a strong role played by the father, the divorce of parents and total reliance on maids to raise children instead of parents are among the main reasons jeopardising family stability in the Arab countries.

Dr Al Omosh explained: "A research conducted in 2005 in Saudi Arabia showed that there are a number of factors jeopardising Arab family stability and that parents leading a stable normal life together is one of the factors leading to family stability."

"It reduces the risk of raising corrupted children while children living with stepmothers or stepfathers are more prone to becoming corrupted as they are adversely affected by their parents' divorce and feel insecure living with strangers."

The study also states that the separation of parents, through divorce, death of one of the parents or the father taking more than one wife besides the father brutally beating up his wife in the presence of children are among the main factors leading children to the wrong path in life, sometimes even leading to crime.

Al Omosh explained that previously members of one family including the father, mother, their sisters, brothers and their children lived together under one roof leading to high degree of family stability, but the trend now was nucleus families.

However, in some Arab countries like Jordan, Syria and Iraq, several generations of one family still continue to live together.

According to a survey conducted in Sharjah as part of the research : "The UAE goverment endeavours to offer more job opportunities to UAE nationals, and this has contributed to reducing unemployment in UAE, but more females suffer from unemployment than males. The main factor affecting unemployment is that 45 per cent of the job seekers look for government jobs while 34 per cent cannot find a job according to their specialisation. Another 28.67 per cent don't have any respect and have no will to work in some of the jobs offered to them."

Elaborating on marriage with relatives of the same family in Sharjah, Al Omosh said 65 per cent of the marriages were with relatives and only 34 per cent were performed with people outside the family.

The statistics also showed that 34 per cent still prefer marrying a relative while 66 per cent prefer marriage outside the family. This shows that the social and economical changes witnessed in Sharjah do affect peoples' opinion on chosing partners.

Al Omosh said polygamy in Sharjah was on the decline, with 81 per cent having one wife. About 15.5 per cent have two wives, 2.25 per cent have three wives and only .75 per cent have four wives. The desire to have more children particularly boys is one of the strongest factors leading to polygamy, followed by the need to marry a beautiful woman, the wife's inability to conceive or poor health condition.

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