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International News Archive
October 07 - October 13, 2001


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This page contains news for the period October  07 through October 13, 2001.



<<   October 2001  >>

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Thursday, October 11, 2001

British single dads are facing discrimination at work

A story released today by the BBCNews reports that according to a survey conducted by Gingerbread, a single parent charity support group, single fathers in Britain are facing discrimination at work.

Their survey shows that a quarter of the 115 questioned had given up their jobs because employers were too inflexible. And more than a quarter of those who remained in employment said becoming a single father had damaged their career prospects.

Margaret Creear, from Gingerbread, said the fathers found it difficult to achieve the right balance between working and caring for children.

"They were expected to work very long or unsociable hours, travel and stay away overnight," she added.

The fathers also reported that men did not have a support group in the same way that women with children have. They also found it difficult to access parental support networks, which often catered only to single mothers.

Amanda Ball, chief executive of Gingerbread said, "Society puts too many unnecessary barriers in their way. Lone fathers and their children deserve better. Becoming a lone-father family is difficult enough."

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Ireland’s single parents heading to a road of poverty

A story published today by the Irish Examiner reports that according to Ireland’s head of state advisory agency for social relationship, single parenthood combined with a poor education is a certain route to poverty

Dr. Maureen Gaffney, chairperson of the National Economic and Social Forum, disclosed that more than 73,000 low income one-parent families are recipients of social welfare. The represents a six-fold increase over a 20-year period.

Significantly, almost 60% of single parents receiving social welfare supports are in the 25-39 age group with those under 25 years old declining from 38% ten years ago to 22%.

Only one-in-three single parents are in the labor force with the number of working lone mothers dropping to 22%, one of the lowest figures in Europe.

Underlining the dramatic increase in lone parent poverty, Dr. Gaffney suggested that the forum's report should be a companion guide to a national debate on the proposed abortion referendum and the Government's new campaign on crisis pregnancies.

"The report," she said, "presents a sobering list of barriers to low income lone parents getting out of the poverty trap."

Strongly advising that many single parents are firmly marginalized in society, the NESF's main recommendations include greater recognition of parenting in the social welfare system and the need for improved access to education, training and employment.

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

French lawmakers introduce ‘fault-free’ divorce bill

A story released today by Reuters (Paris) reports that a new bill introduced in France would make divorce possible if initiated by one partner even if the other partner disagrees.

The bill, which began its passage through parliament on Tuesday, would remove the notion of blame from most divorce proceedings, including on grounds of adultery.

The partner seeking the split could still claim a financial settlement even if the other spouse wanted to stay married.

"The aim is to make divorce quicker and less traumatic both for the couple and for any children -- but not to trivialize it," Justice Minister Marylise Lebranchu told reporters.

"Removing the blame factor would speed things up because there would be no need to drag witnesses before the court... It would make the procedure more peaceful and less costly."

The bill, presented by parliament member Francois Colombet of the ruling Socialists, has government backing.

A clause was included to Colombet's initial draft to retain the notion of blame in cases involving physical or emotional abuse under strong pressure from women's organizations.

The current French law favors the perceived victim in a dissolution proceeding and the partner deemed at fault often loses out financially or finds it difficult to win custody rights of any children.

Nepalese lawmakers amends women property law

A story released today by the BBC News reports that the Nepalese parliament has passed a bill that would allow women to inherit their parent's propery at birth. Under the existing law, women can only claim a share in the property if they stay with their parents and remain single until the age of 35.

But the new bill still requires women to return the property if they get married.

Various women's groups have protested at the new bill which they say does not provide equal rights but only gives a continuity to the old existing system.

They have demanded that once women get their share they should not return it even after marriage.

The new bill has yet to be adopted by the upper house of parliament, and be approved by King Gyanendra before it becomes law.

Monday, October 8, 2001

New group in Jordan seeks to help single parent families

A story published today by the Jordan Times reports that the Single Parents' Association based in Amman, Jordan is not a `singles' club', but a venue where single parents and their families learn how to adjust to their situation, said the association's President Mohammad Attiyyeh.

"The association seeks to help single-parent families cope with the pressures and potential consequences of separation. Thus, it is a condition that any single parent who wants to join the association must have his/her children living with him/her," said Attiyyeh in a recent lecture.

The initiative is the brainchild of Attiyyeh, divorced with two children, and widower Nabil Issa, father of four, who felt the need for setting up such a project in light of the lack of organizations specializing in the needs of single parenthood.

"We don't have marriage counselors, and there aren't enough awareness bodies helping those divorced to cope, which was behind our project," said Attiyyeh, speaking from his own experience.

Other objectives of the association include cutting down on the increasing number of divorce cases when possible through organizing workshops, studies and seminars.

Official statistics show that the number of registered divorces in the Kingdom rose by 25 percent during the second quarter of this year to 2,382 cases compared to the first quarter of this year.

Other goals of the four-month-old association include exploring places where single parents can see their children outside of courts and police centers, in a more "cozy family atmosphere," said Attiyyeh.


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