From Lonestar Times:
What a wonderful world?
Want to see the future of marriage and families if liberals have their way?_ Just take a look at USA TODAYs report_from Scandinavia:
On both sides of the Atlantic, the forces that have driven up the birth rate for unmarried mothers are the same: the introduction of the birth control pill, feminism, the rising number of women in the workforce and the decline of religion. The roles of men and women in the family and society have changed over the past 40 years. Traditional households headed by male wage earners have waned, giving way to everything from single-parent households to families that combine the children that parents have had together and with other partners.
In Scandinavia, however, social trends have been reinforced by policies designed to promote equality for women and further separate the church and state. As a result, the link between marriage and having children has all but disappeared.
(What may seem a tragedy to many religious and traditional Americans, is apparently some sort of heaven on earth for the Scandinavians._ Listen to this description):
In Scandinavia, there is no "family values" debate, no soul-searching for ways to reverse the upward trend in divorces and separations. Instead, "the discussion has been more focused on how can we help people who want to split up? How can we make it easier for single parents?" she says. "It's not that the government encourages it. They adapt to make it easier for single parents, single mothers."_
So, the state provides maintenance allowances for children (in the event the father does not pay support), and housing allowances. About two-thirds of single mothers in Sweden, for example, receive housing allowances._
(Wait, it gets better.)
"The government does not think it is their place to show people how they are supposed to live," says Maria Lidström, a co-coordinator for family policy for Sweden's division of children and family affairs. "Since it was (becoming) more common to live together and have children without marrying, they introduced laws that made it easier for families who were not married."
(OK, but what about this . . ._)
But when women walk in for a job interview, the world is not so equal. About half of all women in Sweden work in the public sector. By contrast, 77% of women in the USA work in the private sector. Of managers in the private sector, about 20% are women in Nordic countries, vs. 37% in the USA. The reason: Family leave in Scandinavia ranges from one to two years with 80% pay and is fairly evenly divided between the parents.
Here, fathers typically transfer almost all of their time-off to the mothers. And because mothers take so much time off work, companies are more reluctant to hire them. The result: women tend to find jobs in more flexible sectors like health care, teaching or government. And they aren't promoted as often as men._
Scandinavian governments are now considering changing the laws to require men to take more of their share of child leave after the baby is born. "Ultimately (the government) wants to help women in the workforce to make them more competitive," says Lidström, the Swedish co-coordinator for family policy, "The other reason is to make men more involved in the family life."
(What happened to not showing people how they are supposed to live. All this and its really cold too._ Yeah, sounds like a real paradise.)