x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

‘Scary’ numbers of unmarried women in UAE, argues FNC member

ABU DHABI // The refusal of men to have more than one wife is creating “a financial burden on the country”, an FNC member claimed on Tuesday.

Ahmad Al Amash said many men could not afford to wed more than once and support another family. This in turn led to a large number of unmarried women in the country.

The issue was raised during discussions with Humaid Al Qattami, the Education Minister and head of the Federal Authority for Human Resources.

Mr Al Amash said housing allowances should be increased for Emiratis with more than one wife.

“Al Shar [religion] has permitted us more than one wife; the man is responsible outside the house to provide all expenses for each wife and family of his, and the woman carries more responsibility inside the house, whether she is the first or second wife,” said Mr Al Amash.

He said those who had taken multiple wives often found themselves in financial straits and were causing “congestion at social support centres”.

He said: “Sticking to one wife only creates a bigger problem. It increases spinsterhood in the country.”

He said according to figures he had seen from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the number of Emirati unmarried women “is very scary, I will not mention it”.

“Spinsters are not happy, social research proved that married women and mothers are much happier,” he said.

He said some men are taking second wives of other nationalities and are even divorcing their Emirati first wives.

“Emirati women are half of society and they are important for the population,” he said. “Spinsters cost the country expenses without bearing or producing any children.

“Marriage protects the woman and prevents her from falling astray on the wrong path.”

Mr Al Amash (Ras Al Khaimah) wants to put a recommendation on housing allowance to the Cabinet.

The FNC Speaker, Mohammed Al Murr, told him to present his recommendation to the council when it was ready.

hdajani@thenational.ae