Predictors of Divorce among women of Reproductive age in Zambia: Evidence from the 2013-14 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey
Mapoma, Christopher Chabila
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Divorce is a major cause of family dissolutions. It wreaks emotional and physical havoc upon families in which it occurs. In Zambia, media and court reports seem to suggest that divorce is soaring too (lusakatimes.com, 2012). However, these statistics are based on circumstantial, highly unsubstantiated and unscientific sources which mostly are unreliable to state the least. Up until now, Zambia does not have any study or studies that have attempted to detail the prevalence and trends in divorce; worse still, no study has been initiated to structure divorce by probable predictors. This study therefore aimed at investigating divorce among women of reproductive age in Zambia using data generated through the 2014 ZDHS. It aimed also at investigating possible predictors and related socio-economic and demographic aspects that explain the occurrence of divorce. The study used the 2013-2014 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) dataset to examine, on one hand, the socio-economic and demographic characteristics associated with divorce and, on the other hand, the relationship between divorce and identified predictors. Divorce status was established using the DHS question asking respondents or women on their current marital status. Using Stata 13, response categories were recoded to “0” (else, or not divorced) and “1” (divorced) so as to dichotomise the marriage status variable to enable manipulation using logistics regression. The study found that women of all ages have experiences of divorce. The study also found that women’s education, occupation and wealth status are among high predictors of divorce. Indications from this study suggest that women, who seem more independent, more educated and have a higher and stable income base are more likely to experience divorce in Zambia. It is probable that such women have a higher level of assertiveness and therefore prefer being by themselves than in relationships where they feel subjugated. On the other hand, women of less education, casual or unstable occupations and less income are less likely to be divorced. These women could be more loyal and to some extent more tolerant towards their partners and therefore have more stable marriages comparatively. Depending on which side one takes, the two scenarios pose different challenges to women in general and to the institution of marriage in particular.
The University of Zambia Press
- Demography