Gender and Family – Family Problems
In the last lecture we watched a video called “Juggling with Work” The video talks about the situation in which both of the parents have to go to work to support the family. When both of the parents went to work, many problems arise such as whom to take care of the children, whom to take care of the housework etc. In many of the case of single parent, it leaves them no choice but to put their little child to child care centers or nannies to take care of them.
In this world of high-cost living, women no longer stay home to take care of their children because one-income is insufficient for a family of even 3. Some chose to work part-time, some devoted to work in home, and some tries to work different shifts to take turns of looking after their children (for example wife works in the morning and husband works in the night). In the current situation, time the parents spend with their children is getting lesser and lesser.
Different approaches have been given to help the family such as child-care funds, child allowance, option to be able to work at home to mention a few. Does it really help? Yes, it does, but not significantly in the long-term. The parents still have to work, and the child-care funds are spent on better child-cares for their children and yet, it is not enough. Well, it is not easy to raise a child in this money-orientated world.
It seems that money is always not enough (we have movies about this). Thus the average marriage age has increased. According to Statistics Singapore (http://www.singstat.gov.sg/stats/themes/people/demo.html) , the median age for first marriage for grooms and brides in 2007 are 29.8 and 27.2 respectively and it is rising from year to year. What may be the cause of it is the insecure economic status which exists among them. Working hours are longer rendered the “social” hours shorter. One intends to marry and have children when they feel that they are financially stable and secure. While more and more are worried about their financial status, they ignored the marriage and struggle to find themselves in a place of discomfort.
On the other hand, the rates of divorce are also climbing. Forget about the disloyal-bad-husband reasons and take a look at the economical consequences. Money often leads to family problems. Husbands and wives argue over finance issues are not new. When the conflicts no longer be tolerated and divorcement is what they seem the best solution. After divorce, men continue to have their jobs because their economic power is greater than women and women who often labeled to be responsible for child-care struggle to be financial independent. Although law stated that after divorcement the husband has to give the ex-wife a certain amount of alimony but sometimes it doesn’t even help because the husband has no money to do so. It leads to another global problem which is feminization of poverty.
Feminists started to fight for their rights and power in various areas but the world is still full of gender inequality. This is a long journey for them and I wish them good luck. Gender equality will come someday, for sure.
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