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International News Archive
February 01 - February 06, 2000


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This page contains news for the period Tuesday, February 01, 2000 through Sunday, February 06, 2000.





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Friday, February 04, 2000

Moroccan king promotes changes in marriage and divorce laws

A story filed by UN-wire and released today by Africa News Online reports that King Mohammed VI of Morocco is clashing with Islamic activists over women's rights on such issues as raising the legal age of marriage from 15 to 18, polygamy only with the permission of a man's first wife, and granting an equal right to divorce and a fair division of assets. The source of the story is the London Independent.

According to a story published yesterday by the London Independent, Islamists claim women's emancipation would lead to the collapse of the family, the destruction of Islamic values and "debauchery of every sort."


Tuesday, February 01, 2000

Single moms coping OK with stress

A story published today by the London Free Press focused on a new study which says that that single mothers cope as well with stress as married moms even though they generally face more emotional and financial turmoil.

Prof. Bill Avison of London said his study of more than 1,000 women debunks any idea that single mothers are "less competent and resilient" than their married counterparts.

The $500,000 study, involving mothers and many of their children over six years, was funded by Health Canada.

"Single mothers are indeed functioning very well as parents, and tend to protect their kids against the stresses and strains of divorce," Avison said yesterday from the University of Western Ontario, where he directs the Centre for Health and Well-Being.

"This drives home the need to look at the socio-economic circumstances and the social policy issues surrounding single parents, rather than assuming there's something missing in their parenting capacity."

But the story points out that single parents still need support, financially and emotionally. Laws need to make it easier for them to obtain financial support from ex-partners, and workplaces are becoming more family-friendly, said Avison.

Previous studies have suggested single moms experience more depression, and their children are at increased risk of emotional and other problems.

But Avison found most kids in single-mother homes were as emotionally healthy as children in two-parent households.

This could be attributed to the fact that there's less stigma attached to being a single parent, and to schools becoming more sensitive to the needs of the changing family, said Avison, a professor of sociology and psychiatry.

"One of the most significant structural changes in North American societies has been the increase in the number of families led by single mothers," said Avison.


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