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."
Irelands single parents
heading to a road of poverty
A story published today by the Irish Examiner reports that according to
Irelands 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
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
"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
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
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.
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,
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.