Abu Dhabi launches digital platform to reduce early-stage divorces

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Abu Dhabi - Teghawa initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of seeking professional help at the first signs of conflict

By Wam

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Published: Mon 26 Jul 2021, 6:05 PM

Authorities in Abu Dhabi have launched a digital platform, aimed at reducing early-stage divorce rates.

Pilot phase of the Teghawa initiative was launched by the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD), in cooperation with the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and private sector partners.

The first digital platform of its kind in the emirate aims to raise awareness about the importance of seeking professional help at the first signs of conflict to reduce divorce rates during the early stages of marriage.

The platform has been designed based on the results of research conducted by the department, which show that approximately 62 per cent of Emirati couples in Abu Dhabi face divorce during the first four years of marriage, stated Dr Layla Al Hyas, executive director of the Social Monitoring and Innovation Sector at the DCD.

The studies also focused on the causes of divorce that include poor communication and conflict resolution skills, lack of quality time spent together, and a delay or reluctance in seeking marriage counselling, Al Hyas added.

"Tegahwa aims to provide support and guidance to couples who encounter issues in communicating, understanding and resolving conflicts, in addition to difficulties related to raising children, which may lead to differences of opinion between spouses," Dr Al Hyas said. Tegahwa is a traditional Emirati word, rooted in authentic customs, which means discussing important matters and addressing challenges between the two families of the spouses. The pilot phase of the platform will be run by family relations specialists from the private sector, including Takalam Online Counselling, Yas Island and Maudsley Health, under the supervision of the FDF.

Tegahwa provides a comfortable environment that guarantees confidentiality and privacy and is tailored to couples’ needs. The platform incorporates innovative elements such as personalised motivational text messages for couples based on their data and a reward system that seeks to strengthen family bonds through offering suggestions for various recreational activities for couples and children to spend quality time together, she explained.

Tegahwa is a result of DCD’s ongoing research efforts, such as the Quality of Life (QOL) survey, now in its third edition, which helps identify challenges facing the community and develop feasible solutions.

Wafaa Al Ali, director of the Family Guidance and Consultations Administration at the FDF, said: "This partnership with the DCD to develop the Tegahwa initiative enhances and consolidates family cohesion and resolve disputes between spouses in the early stages of marriage, in addition to providing support and guidance for couples facing difficulties in communicating with each other, to raise happy children, build a close-knit family, and build a community that enjoys a higher quality of life.

"The FDF is keen to provide psychological and social counselling and guidance to couples through Tegahwa, which takes proactive steps aimed primarily at protecting married life from complications that obstruct the stability and progress of families for the better while maintaining complete privacy and confidentiality for applicants of the service," she added.

The Tegahwa platform is available at https://tegahwa.ae.

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