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Article

Skills for “Marriage of a Lifetime”: An Examination of Muslim Marriage Preparation Handbooks in Singapore, 1974 to 2018

Department of Malay Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119260, Singapore
Academic Editors: Maznah Mohamad and Terry Lovat
Religions 2021, 12(7), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070473
Received: 20 May 2021 / Revised: 22 June 2021 / Accepted: 23 June 2021 / Published: 25 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marriage, Intimacy, Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia)
High divorce rates in Muslim marriages continue to be a concern for Malay community leaders and policy makers in Singapore. Since 1969, Malay community organisations here have offered marriage preparation courses to reduce the incidence of divorce. Today, a range of such pre-marriage courses continue to be provided by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Muslim organisations and private educational groups that are involved in marriage counselling and consultation. In this article, I examine the handbooks that have accompanied courses sponsored by the Ministry. Their content spells out the skills needed to realise a “marriage of a lifetime”. Whilst prescriptions have responded to societal changes, a closer scrutiny of instructions in these manuals unfolds notions of the ‘ideal’ Muslim husband and wife that continue to stress men as providers and women as primary caregivers. Prioritising communication skills of the individual, as these manuals do, does little to change household gender inequalities in the long run. View Full-Text
Keywords: marriage; intimacy; gender; Islam; Southeast Asia marriage; intimacy; gender; Islam; Southeast Asia
MDPI and ACS Style

Suratman, S. Skills for “Marriage of a Lifetime”: An Examination of Muslim Marriage Preparation Handbooks in Singapore, 1974 to 2018. Religions 2021, 12, 473. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070473

AMA Style

Suratman S. Skills for “Marriage of a Lifetime”: An Examination of Muslim Marriage Preparation Handbooks in Singapore, 1974 to 2018. Religions. 2021; 12(7):473. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070473

Chicago/Turabian Style

Suratman, Suriani. 2021. "Skills for “Marriage of a Lifetime”: An Examination of Muslim Marriage Preparation Handbooks in Singapore, 1974 to 2018" Religions 12, no. 7: 473. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12070473

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