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[media-credit id=1 align=”aligncenter” width=”640″][/media-credit]Jamie Cooper-Hohn. That is a name to remember as the woman who got the largest divorce settlement in the UK. What she got was a whopping 530 Million US Dollars. Now, this got me wondering…could this be the reason why we don’t have a lot of divorce cases in Nigeria? No, not Jamie Cooper-Hohn, but the settlement she got.
You hear of cases of Nigerian women being thoroughly abused by their spouses, and I mean, beaten and smashed to the extent where they lose multiple pregnancies. Then the same abusive spouse has multiple affairs and in some cases, even brings them home. Yet she does not leave. Instead she rallies her Pastor and her Church people and they begin praying for a man who will never change because he has absolutely no intention of changing and God cannot force change on a person. Then you ask yourself; why does she stay?
We have discussed the reasons Nigerian women stay here. But this Cooper-Hohn divorce gives another perspective to things. If it had been a Nigerian divorce, it doesn’t matter that the woman was the higher earner when they got married, she would have left without a dime. Not even child support in most cases (although the law states that a man should pay child support and if you take the matter to a court in Lagos, you will win the case). Then as though to further rub salt on the injury, the man’s people might even demand that the woman return the dowry they paid during the wedding ceremony.
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So the man is the serial offender, but the woman is the one who is victimized if she leaves. No, scratch that…even if HE leaves, she’s still victimized. For most women, especially those who quit their jobs to take care of their children and have no other source of income, when they think of all the attendant stresses of leaving, they just stick it out and become more fervent in Church.
Now think about this. Imagine a scenario where the woman is sure that her children will be taken care of and her bills would be paid; won’t she just walk out of a husband who is abusive or a serial cheat? Most likely more women would choose the divorce route.
The flip side of that is that knowing our Nigerian girls, more of them would choose some smart looking banker or business man, get married, have 2 or 3 kids and then ask for a divorce. With that in mind, one wonders: Is our system still the better option?
I really don’t know…what do YOU think?
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