22818aaa1e688210VgnVCM100000e56411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q1Family development12818aaa1e688210VgnVCM100000e56411ac____Family developmentThe Abu Dhabi campaign for Social Cohesion launches today and its slogan: "We're building a nation… we're building a family" is apt.<p>The Abu Dhabi campaign for Social Cohesion launches today and its slogan: "We're building a nation… we're building a family" is apt. Just as the global credit crunch has proved an unexpected hurdle to the UAE's overall development goals, so too are soaring divorce rates posing a challenge to the basic building block of societies, the family.
No official figures on divorce rates are available. However, UN statistics show that divorces among Emiratis leapt 13 per cent between 2002 and 2004. It is estimated that almost half of marriages will end in divorce. As the UAE encourages more young Emiratis into private sector employment and expands its cities, the stresses upon family life will only grow, thus initiatives to create lasting marriages are to be encouraged.</p>
<p>Yet the fundamental causes of the problem must also be addressed. We should bear in mind the findings of the American University of Sharjah's Rana Raddawi, who said on International Women's Day this week that UAE women remain at a disadvantage to men in child custody, divorce and polygamy cases. As women grow increasingly independent at home and in the workplace, they are less likely to suffer conditions that they think are unfair.</p>