fewer women sought help from government in oman last year
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Fewer women sought help from government in Oman last year

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Arab Today, arab today Fewer women sought help from government in Oman last year

The number of Omani women who sought benefits after being abandoned by their husbands fell 25.7
Muscat - Arab today

Fewer women sought help from social welfare programmes in Oman in 2016, according to the Social Welfare Report 2017 released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

According to the report in 2016, the number of Omani women, who sought benefits after being abandoned by their husbands, was 25.7 per cent less than the year before. Within that same period, the number of widows seeking welfare was also down by at least 447 cases. 

The number of female divorcees seeking government benefits was the third highest after the number of Omanis seeking disability and the elderly at 11,744. Expenses for divorced women seeking help amounted to OMR12,684,245.

A widow was identified in the report as, “Every woman who has not reached the age of 60, whose husband has died, has been without a husband and doesn’t have enough income to live off of.” 

According to the study, the number of widowed women seeking benefits stood at 6,165 in 2016 and OMR10,080,785 has been spent on them.

On the other hand, the report also indicated 179 cases of women being abandoned by their husbands. OMR338,309 has been allocated to these women through the welfare programme. These women are identified as “every woman whose husband leaves her, with no contact, for no less than a year, and has legitimate documentation that the husband has left.”

Iman Al Ghafri, chairwoman of the Omani Women’s Association, believes that abandoned women are in greater jeopardy than women, who are divorced or widowed.

“If you look beyond the statistics, you notice that most of these women are not educated and are not working. Abandoned women are not widowed, but her husband has abandoned her and has run away from his responsibility.”

“Most of them come from non-educated families, some with drug and alcohol issues and abuse. Basically, the man has had enough and moved on to another family. Leaving a woman with kids and no income, she can’t receive benefits from her husband nor can she work, because she is in a very difficult time in her life. The government has given her a solution, and gives them benefits just like the widows,” Al Ghafri said.

The Ministry of Social Development stated that their reports indicated that in the year 2015, approximately 1,443 women from these three categories (widowed, abandoned and divorced) exited the social welfare programme. In 2016, even fewer women left at 1,364. According to the source, there are numerous reasons as to why women would leave the programme.

“Maybe she went back to her family because things got better, maybe the husband came back and she is no longer entitled to the benefits, perhaps her children started working. Some of these women left because they started making money off farm land they owned.”

“In one case, a woman changed her nationality and took her foreign husband’s nationality. There have been cases of women starting work, husbands returning, and in other cases, the women simply dying,” the ministry source said.

According to Al Ghafri, there is still hope for these women. There are some solutions that women can use to help raise their standard of living.

“They could start a craft, something they can do under the umbrella of entrepreneurship but without losing their benefits from social welfare. She will be able to move on with her life, with a better income and a better life.

“We have to understand that single parent mothers are under big pressure. A widowed woman’s situation is different, because we have a lot of empathy towards her situation and other charities will provide her more support than abandoned families,” Al Ghafri further said.

“Right now, the government is working on an old objective and the urgency of implementing it has become more institutional. Women empowerment is when we take less fortunate women and change their lives. Many have realised that if you provide the tools to women, they are more willing and able to shift from being receivers to productive citizens in building our nation,” Al Ghafri added.

Source: Timesofoman

 

 

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