The South Asian Women Breaking the Divorce Taboo

As ending marriages becomes increasingly common, a new generation is speaking out to end the stigma.

divorce feature
Huda Alvi, Jasmeet, and Annesa Mawani (from left to right, The Juggernaut)

Allana Akhtar


October 2, 2023


9 min

The bomber jackets are out and pumpkin spice is in, which can mean only one thing: hot divorce summer is coming to an end. 

Following a slew of celebrity divorces this summer — Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez, and Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire to name a few — many wondered what was behind all the recent splits. Was this summer an anomaly, or is divorce becoming more common?

For South Asian women, it might be the latter. South Asia has among the lowest divorce rates in the world —  India and Sri Lanka are at just 1% and 0.15%, respectively. The low-divorce trend extends to the diaspora, too: Asian Americans have the highest marriage rates but the lowest divorce rate relative to other ethnicities. For so long, the idea of ending a marriage was deeply stigmatized. But a new generation is redefining that narrative: divorce is no longer the taboo it once was.

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