Statistics Dept to release marriage and divorce numbers by end of 2018

PUTRAJAYA: Marriage and divorce statistics in Malaysia will be released by the Department of Statistics at the end of next year, according to Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin.

He said it was hoped that the data would help the government in planning policies to strengthen the family institution in the country.

"Statistics for non-Muslim couples are now available at the National Registration Department, while for Muslim couples it comes under the Islamic religious councils of the respective states, and the Department of Statistics, in cooperation with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), is currently collecting the data.

"Once released, the statistics will indicate whether the marriage and divorce rates in the country are within the acceptable range, or otherwise," he told the media after the launch of 2017 Statistics on Women Empowerment in Selected Domains in Malaysia, here today.

The launch was officiated by Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) secretary-general Datuk Suriani Ahmad, representing Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

Mohd Uzir explained that it was taking a long time to gather the data as at present, only eight state Islamic religious councils had digital data, while the rest still used manual systems.

Meanwhile, Suriani, when reading the minister's speech said that the Malaysia Gender Gap Index developed by the department showed that the average score for the four sub-indexes (economic, education, health and control) for 2016, was 0.692.

"This demonstrates that the equality gap between men and women in Malaysia is 69.2%, taking into account the weighted average of the population.

"Of the four sub-indexes rated, the gender gap index in Malaysia in political control is huge, with a score of 0.061 compared to education (1.092), health (0.957) and economics (0.659)," she said.

Based on this score, she said Malaysia was ranked 75th in the world, and ninth among East Asian and Pacific countries, ahead of Indonesia, China and Brunei.

"Therefore, the government would always encourage the participation of women in the development process of the country, including by opening up more opportunities for them to venture into social, economic and political fields," she added. — Bernama