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Women are more than three times as likely to work part time than men, according to a new report. International research shows that this is in line with the preference of most women. According to the new ESRI study, almost 40 per cent of women work part-time compared with 12 per cent of men. The study, published today and reported in The Irish Times also showed that women who work part-time earn 6 per cent less per hour than women working full-time with similar qualifications and education.
Social Protection Minister, Joan Burton, is to propose a major change to the qualifying criteria for the lone parents' allowance, according to a report in the Sunday Times. At present a lone parent receives the payment until his or her child reaches the age of 18. The Sunday Times reports that officials at the Department of Social Protection are examining the possibility of reducing this to seven as a means of cutting the €1.1 billion One Family Payment (OFP) bill.
Forced sterilisation is in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found. In a ruling last week, the ECHR found that forced sterilisation constituted “a major interference with a person’s reproductive health status” and as such was in violation of article 3 and 8 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment and right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention.
The Catholic Church in Scotland is stepping up its campaign against Government proposals to legalise same-sex marriage. The hierarchy has sent out a second wave of 100,000 postcards to help parishioners make their views known to the Scottish Assembly. The Scottish Government is currently consulting on whether to legalise gay marriage. The consultation document says the Scottish Government’s initial view is that it supports such legislation.
President Michael D Higgins called on people to participate in the upcoming Convention on the Constitution during his inaugural address at Dublin Castle today. The convention was party of the Labour party manifesto and became part of the Programme for Government. One of the areas the convention will examine is the section of the Constitution dealing with the family with a view to possibly paving the way towards same-sex marriage.
Twelve nurses employed at a hospital run by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) are suing the facility, claiming that the hospital is forcing nurses to assist in abortions. This is despite the fact that US Federal law prohibits hospitals that receive certain federal funds from forcing employees to participate in abortions. In addition, New Jersey law states, “No person shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion or sterilisation.”
The highest court in the UK has “blurred” the distinction between cohabitation and marriage in its latest ruling, a family law expert has said. The British Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a man who left his partner 20 years ago is entitled to a 10pc share of the value of their home, while his former girlfriend should receive a “fair” proportion of 90pc, the Daily Telegraph reports.
The number of cases of treatment for alcohol abuse has risen by more than 40pc in the past six years, according to a new report by the Health Research Board. And the number of instances of those aged 18 and under being treated rose by an alarming 145pc, the figures showed. According to the report, 42,333 cases with alcohol as a main problem substance presented to drug treatment services from 2005 to 2010, the Irish Times says.
A majority (52pc) of Democrat voters in the US say they seldom or never go to church, according to new data published by Gallup yesterday. However, 27pc say they go weekly and another 20pc say they go once a month or more. The Gallup poll also shows that 40 percent of Republicans say they go to church weekly, 21 percent say they go to church monthly or more, and 38 percent of Republicans say they seldom or never go to church.
In a major break with tradition, the inauguration of Michael D Higgins (pictured) is set to have a “humanist element”, according to a report in the Irish Times. A source told the paper that there would be a “humanist reflection” in addition to the usual prayers. This will be the first time such a thing has happened. Mr Higgins is understood to have requested the reflection as part of the ceremony in addition to traditional prayers.
It is wrong to equate marriage and cohabitation, a leading member of the UK Government has said. The Secretary for Work and Pensions, and former Tory Party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, said that the Coalition government should fight to protect the traditional family, which he called ‘the most vital part of society’. Mr Duncan Smith warned that failure to support marriage would lead to further social breakdown, and blamed broken homes for funnelling children into the gangs that ran rampant during the summer riots, according to The Daily Mail.
Grandparents can damage the children of divorcing couples by increasing conflict between couples, according to a UK family law adviser to the government. David Norgrove, the chairman of an official review on family justice which was published on Thursday, said some couples used their parents as a “weapon” during contested divorce cases, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Sexual activity among US teens has seen a significant fall in the last two decades, according to a new report. Figures from the Centre for Disease Control published last month show that, from 1988 to 2006-2010, the percentage of never-married males aged 15-19 who reported ever having sexual intercourse dropped from 60pc to 42pc.
Austria's law banning the use of donor eggs for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is not in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. In practice, the decision also permits countries to ban the use of donor sperm. The decision has been hailed by family rights activists as a victory for the right of children to know and to be raised by their two natural parents and a defeat for those who argue against the importance of biological motherhood and fatherhood.
Alcoholic intoxication is one of the biggest reasons why the Director of Public Prosecutions does not prosecute in alleged rape cases, according to a new report by the DPP's office. The DPP's latest report shows that in the vast majority of alleged rape cases no prosecution is mounted as there is insufficient evidence, the Irish Times reports. Where cases were not prosecuted for insufficiency of evidence one of the main reason was that the complainant was intoxicated, and could not recall clearly the alleged offence or the details of it.
Irish people are split on their view of the Catholic Church in Irish society, according to a new poll commissioned by The Iona Institute. The poll, carried out by Amarach Research, shows that 47pc currently hold an unfavourable view of the Church, but that 46pc believe Church teaching is still of benefit to society. The 47pc who have an unfavourable view of the Church currently includes 20pc of weekly Mass-goers. This indicates that holding an unfavourable view of the Church at present, does not mean that such a person is against the Church as such.
Proposals to give divorced fathers in the UK a legal right to a relationship with their children are set to be scrapped in a review of family law published yesterday. A report in the Daily Telegraph says that plans for a law to give children the right to a “meaningful relationship with both parents” are likely to be dropped. Senior civil servants are said to believe that the proposal would be too disruptive to children and would have made it necessary for judges to allocate time that parents each had to spend with their offspring.
A prominent Scottish politician has been kicked off the board of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in the city of Dundee because of his support for traditional marriage. The CAB in the city is in receipt of funding from the Scottish Government to fight religious discrimination. Last year, it was given £39,000 for projects to tackle racial and religious discrimination.
A clear majority of the public overestimate the number of Catholic clergy who are guilty of child abuse, according to a new poll. The most authoritative estimate to date puts the true number of accused priests at 4 percent. However, according to a poll commissioned by the Iona Institute and carried out by Amarach Research, seventy percent of the public believe the figure is higher than this, and nearly half of the public (42 percent) believe that more than one in five of priests are guilty of child abuse.
Social workers who demonstrate reluctance to place vulnerable children for adoption are guilty of a “tick box mentality” according to British Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured). Speaking at the launch of a national drive to encourage more couples to consider adopting children in care, Mr Cameron called for a “culture change” in social services.
Many US divorces may be unnecessary because most couples who divorce have average levels of happiness, and politicians can take concrete actions to significantly cut their number, according to a new report. The report, Second Chances: A Proposal to Reduce Unnecessary Divorce, was compiled by former chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Leah Ward Sears, twice considered by the Obama Administration as a US Supreme Court and William J. Doherty, Professor of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota.
A Girl Scouts' group in the US has relented and allowed a seven year old boy, who claims to be “transgender” to join its ranks. The leader of a Girl Scouts troop in the US state of Colorado initially told the boy, Bobby Montoya, that he couldn't join on the basis that he wasn't a girl. However, a spokesperson for the organisation told local television station KUSA-TV in Denver that they had had a change of heart.
Religious education will continue to have a central role to play in Irish schools in the future, according to the Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn (pictured). And he criticised the fact that religious faith in modern Ireland is treated with ''a level of derision and contempt that it does not deserve,'' reports this week's Irish Catholic. The Minister was speaking at a conference at the Irish Centre for Religious Education (ICRE) at the Mater Dei Institue in Dublin.
Unmarried couples who have purchased a house together could face a huge tax bill if one of them passes away compared with a surviving spouse who would pay nothing. According to a report in The Irish Examiner, four out of five first-time buyers over the last few years have been unmarried couples. However, there are no official statistics to back this up.
Ireland and Latvia have the highest percentage of children living with a lone parent in the EU, new figures published today show. The figures, produced by Eurostat, the EU's official statistics bureau, showed that, in 2008, 23 percent of children in both Ireland and Latvia were raised by single parents. The average figure for the EU as a whole was 14 percent.
Peter Tatchell, one of Britian's leading and most radical gay rights advocates has said that the actions of local housing authority, Trafford Housing Trust in demoting and slashing the pay of a Christian employee who posted comments about civil partnerships on Facebook were “excessive and disproportionate”. Adrian Smith, who worked for the Trust for 18 years, used his own private Facebook page to point to a news article about proposals to register samesex civil partnerships in churches, and added the remark: “an equality too far”.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin addressed The Iona Institute last night on the topic of ‘Marriage and the Common Good’. He told an audience of almost 200 people that the State must continue to support marriage and the “love and fidelity” that are its essence. He warned that today the individual is replacing the family as the fundamental unit of society.
The European Humanist Federation (EHF) has lodged an official complaint against the European Commission, accusing it of treating them as second class citizens. In an open letter, they say the Commission, by refusing their proposal of a dialogue seminar on “Competing Rights Issues in Europe” has failed to implement Article 17:3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Local UK health authorities are giving IVF treatment to single women, paid for by the National Health Service, while elsewhere married couples are being turned down. Nearly a fifth of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), bodies which are in charge of commissioning local health services in the UK, offer fertility treatment to women even if they are not married or in a long-term relationship, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The Maltese courts granted their first divorce judgement last Friday to a couple who had been living apart for 21 years from the day of their legal separation. Malta voted in a referendum to legalise divorce in May. The referendum was passed by a narrow margin of 52pc to 48pc. It was the last country in Europe, apart from the Vatican, to do so. Outside Europe, the only other country which does not permit divorce is the Philippines.
A theatre in Dublin is set to stage Jerry Springer the Opera later this month, a blasphemous play which mocks Jesus, God the Father and Mary. The play, which sparked a storm of protest when it was screened by the BBC in 2005, will be shown at the Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin, from October 31st to November 5th..
A key pledge by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to bolster child protection by hiring extra social workers has been broken. On foot of recommendations made in the Ryan Report into institutional abuse, the HSE said it would appoint 60 additional social workers this year to strengthen child protection services. However, none of these additional posts have been filled, the Irish Times has reported today.
The British Government is more likely to protect the rights of hedgehogs than Christians, according to prominent former Tory minister, Ann Widdecombe. In a speech tomorrow to the annual conference of international charity, Aid to the Church in Need, Ms Widdecombe, who was Minister for Prisons in the last Conservative government, is set to accuse current Tory ministers of double standards for threatening to withdraw foreign aid from nations which persecute homosexuals but ignoring the plight of persecuted Christians.
French school textbooks which promote the idea that a person’s ‘gender’ is the result of upbringing and society rather than biology have been slammed by French politicians. The controversy is similar to one that took place here some years ago when a programme called ‘Exploring Masculinities’ was introduced into Irish schools which said ‘gender is a social construct’.
Thirty five children and teenagers known to the Health Service Executive (HSE) have died since March of last year, it was revealed yesterday. It was also revealed that were 16 serious incidents involving children or adolescents known to the HSE over the same time period.
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