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International News Archive
June 21 - June 27, 2000


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This page contains news for the period June 21, 2000 through June 27, 2000.



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Saturday, June 24 2000

More young adults in Japan are staying single longer

A story published today in a Pakistani paper called The Frontier Post reports that The Frontier Post reviewed life in Japan after it was invited to the nation by The Foreign Press Center (FPC) of Tokyo. The story discussed many social changes in Japan, including those involving marital status and family.

The story says that family life in Japan is not exempted from the onslaught of transition as the old family structure f three generations living together is slightly fading away if not on the verge of depletion. More and more married couples tend to live away from the grand parents owing to many reasons including some problems of moving to urban settlements because of jobs over there.

However, the phenomenon of more and more women preferring either not to marry or marry at later age or even not to rear children after getting married is something which is worrying Japanese thinkers. According to a survey conducted among citizens of 20 years of age or plus by Foreign Press Center, 40.7 per cent of the 5000 nation-wide respondents thought that marriage is an individual choice and the decision to get married or not is an entirely personal matter.

In the same survey, 54.1 per cent of the respondent women thought to live alone or get late marriage because they enjoyed more freedom while staying single whereas 30.7 per cent women thought it more convenient to be single for the sake of career.

The story ends by commenting that any Japanese citizen visiting Pakistan will hardly believe that the Pakistani people still have the same society they had centuries ago; feudal lords living in grand palaces and poor tenants living in similar one room small mud structure.


Friday, June 23, 2000

Israel appeals ruling on joint custody

A story published today in the Washington Blade reports that the Israeli government is appealing a high court ruling that granted a Lesbian couple joint custody of a son whom one of the women gave birth to after using insemination of donor sperm.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the government has asked the court to reconsider its ruling by granting the case a hearing before an expanded panel of judges. The original ruling, handed down May 29, came from a three-judge panel of the court.

That judges ordered the Interior Ministry to grant parental custody to the adoptive mother, Nicole Barnir-Kadish, as well as the biological mother, Ruti Barnir-Kadish.

Ruti gave birth to the boy, Matan, while the couple was living in California. When the family moved back to Israel and filed citizenship papers for Matan, the Interior Ministry refused to list Nicole as a parent.

Government attorney Osnat Mandel argued in a legal brief that the May 29 three-judge panel’s ruling overstepped judicial bounds by answering "questions which raise serious social and moral issues involving the concept of family law and adoption law in Israel. These decisions should be made first and foremost by the legislature."


Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Unwed births in Britain on the rise

A story published today in the Telegraph reports that about 40 percent of recent births in Great Britain involved children born to unmarried parents.

The changing face of family life in Britain is illustrated in the latest population figures which show an increase in unwed births, a rise in under-age sex and more cohabitation in the past 25 years.

The story says that the number of children born outside marriage has risen from one in 10 in the 1970s to four in 10 today, with women delaying becoming mothers until the average age of 29. The story is based on a new report by the National Statistics office.

The proportion of married women aged under 50 has dropped since the mid-1980s from two-thirds to just more than a half, while the number of women choosing not to start a family has increased from one in 10 for women born in 1940 to one in five for women born in 1960.

Government concerns over the dissolution of the traditional married-family unit are borne out by the increase in the number of single-parent families from 750,000 in 1976 to 1.6 million in 1996, with the number of children living with only one parent having risen from 1.3 million to 2.8 million between 1976 and 1996.

Cohabitation has emerged as a popular choice for an increasing number of women in the past 25 years, with the proportion of single women aged under 50 living with their boyfriends having trebled to three in every 10.

By 2021 it is predicted that almost three million unmarried couples in England and Wales - double the current number - will be living together.

The report also raised concerns over the growing number of teenagers having sexual intercourse before the age of 16.



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