Kenya divorce crisis: Women lead in divorce (8.85%) after husbands lose jobs, FIDA hints on KNBS marital report


Divorce crisis in Kenya according to KNBS house marital statistics from the 2019 Census

Research from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that at least one out of every 18 homes in Kenya is run by a divorced or separated person. 


This is a 16.5 percent rise in the number of divorced or separated people in charge over the past ten years.


A review of two publications on Kenya's marriage institution found that the likelihood of married people getting divorced or separated is 1.3 times higher now than it was ten years ago.


According to the 2019 census and the KNBS study on household and family dynamics, 5.5 percent of Kenya's 12 million households were led by divorcees or those who had split from their marriages as of 2019. 661,628 of these are households.

According to the survey, which groups Kenyan families according to the parental status of the head, 405,515 of the households with divorced heads were led by women.

This shows that whereas divorced males control 38.7% of the surviving families, women led the charge with 61.3 percent of divorced or separated households (256,074).


The survey gave a picture of how Kenya's marriages have changed by showing that divorce and separation rates have gone up over the past ten years.


The majority of male heads of households with children in the country are either widowed, divorced, or separated. 


The KNBS survey said, "However, there isn't a big difference between the different marriage situations for women with children."


According to the survey, 256,074 (or 3.4 percent) of Kenya's 7.4 million male-headed families are led by males who have either been divorced or separated.

On the other hand, of the 4,579,574 households with women as the head in 2019, 405,515 (or 8.85%) had recently experienced a divorce or separation from their marriage.

In addition, the poll revealed that, of the 661,628 divorcees in the nation in 2019, 40.8% ended up living alone. Seventy-six percent of the 256,074 clusters of divorced or separated males ended up living alone, while 17.4 percent chose to remain with their children.

However, of the 405,515 female-headed divorced or separated homes, 22% of people lived alone, 47% of people shared a home with their children, and 22.8 percent of people shared a home with family members. This demonstrates how many guys choose to live alone after a divorce or separation.

Mr. Dennis Otieno, Legal Counsel at Fida-Kenya, says that most of the divorce cases that the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (Fida-Kenya) handles are caused by a difference in income between the two partners, especially when a man loses his job.

The major causes of divorce and separation, he said, are usually arguments over finances, strained relationships, disrespect, and other behaviors that most people consider unimportant, despite the fact that many people attribute these problems to infidelity.

According to Mr. Otieno, couples often fight over things like where to reside, where to send their children to school, who should own the property, and other financial-related matters.

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