Why Iran Has A "No Divorce Day"S

Clerics are freaking out about the fact that Iran's divorce rate is rising. They blame women's liberation. And why not, when there are twice as many female undergraduates in Iran's universities as men.

The Times reports that the annual Marriage Day was replaced by a No Divorce Day, in which no permits were granted. The numbers are stark:

Over a decade, the number each year has roughly tripled to a little more than 150,000 in 2010 from around 50,000 in 2000, according to official figures. Nationwide, there is one divorce for every seven marriages; in Tehran, the ratio is 1 divorce for every 3.76 marriages, the government has reported.

Don't worry, the U.S. still has them beat. Liberal commentators blame economic instability and rapid urbanization; conservatives say the country is going to hell because of godlessness. But here's another big reason: Women have other options. "Women have found the courage to break with tradition and say no to the past," says one psychiatrist quotes in the piece. "They are no longer prepared to put up with hardships in marriage, and their expectations have risen to include equality in relationships."

In Iran, Divorce Soars, Stirring Fears Of Society In Crisis [NYT]