Thursday, April 06, 2006

As Usual, Children Suffer when Not in the Care of their Mother

: Women's group to provide assistance to female divorcees

19 Mar 2006 13:30:08 GMT

Source: IRIN

DAMASCUS, 19 March (IRIN) - A local NGO has launched a programme aimed at finding shelter and jobs for ostracised divorced women in an effort to help them cope with the travails of single life.

According to Youmna Abu Hassan, who sits on the board of the Society for Developing the Role of Women in Syria, the project aims to rehabilitate female divorcees by educating them, teaching them skills and providing them with shelter, in order "to make them economically independent".

According to a study by the Central Statistics Bureau, there were roughly 17,000 cases of divorce nationwide in 2004. Abu Hassan explained that the majority of these women "couldn't return to their parents' house once they had left it".

The study also notes that the divorce rate is almost 25 percent higher in the capital, Damascus, than in rural areas. This is because urban women tend to be more progressive and assertive.

"Divorce cases increase in societies that undergo many social changes in a very short time," said sociologist Dr Hazar al-Gindi. "Working women are still considered odd in our society. We still look at women through the traditional perspective; that their role should be confined to raising children and housekeeping."

Meanwhile, divorced women are often left bereft of the financial means to support themselves. In some cases, they are even left without a place to live in. "I actually had to become a maid just to find shelter," said Kinaz al-Samman, 29. Al-Samman divorced after marrying at only 13 years old, not an uncommon practice in Syria.

Divorced women also complain that they suffer from popular stigmas associated with marital separation. "'Divorce' is a word easily said by the husband, but it badly affects the woman's life and even tarnishes her image," said 19-year old divorcee Laila Khalil. "Divorced women are treated as if they're guilty, and aren't socially accepted."

Children can also be the unwitting pawns in divorce cases, with husbands sometimes only consenting to give up custody of the child in exchange for financial concessions from the mother. Although the government three years ago gave the mother the right to keep children until they reach 14 years of age, they are often obliged to surrender them to the father due to lack of money to care for them.

What's more, children themselves often experience trauma when parents divorce. According to al-Gindi, most child beggars and thieves in the country are children of divorced parents. A study by UNICEF released in 2003 showed that 85.5 per cent of child labourers in Syria were the offspring of divorced parents.

According to al-Gindi, cultural and media institutions could help improve the lot of divorced women by contributing to "shaping a new, contemporary image for the social role of women".

Well what a surprise this is, NOT…

That the nonsense we see going on throughout western civilization, we can also observe in other societies. It’s pretty clear that when children are not worth any financial resources to men, few men bother with them.

Charles Glass mentioned this in his book “Tribes with Flags” back in the 80s. How he observed everywhere he went throughout the middle east, very young girls working as servers at dinner, maids, etc., and he had wondered where they came from. Kept up to all hours of the night so clearly not going to school in the morning, we now know their origins. From some family with a stingy cheapskate for a father who didn’t want to bother taking care of his kids after a divorce. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear that many of these cheapskates even steal their kids wages from them, not even letting them have the money they make for their own use.

AND I guarantee you that if they had the same laws regarding child support in the middle east that we have over here, we would see the same sort of endless custody wars going on there as we have here, with men struggling to avoid paying child support and using every trick in the book to work the system.

It’s pretty disgusting actually.

But it goes back to my usual point which is that unless abuse or neglect is involved, MOST mothers are the best, natural guardian for MOST children and as their mother prospers, so do her children.

As mother and child's fortunes are intermingled, one with the other…since when you invest as much as mothers do in bringing forth another life, you don't so easily turn your back on your investment in that little person.

AND those who don't want to accept that reality, take it up with God, evolution or mother nature...but quit trying to change public policy to separate mothers from their children.

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