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Norway debates divorce

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 12:35 pm Thu 31st October 2013

Norwegian parents should go on date nights to help reduce the country’s soaring divorce rate, the [Norwegian] government says.

Solveig Horne, the country’s minister for children, equality and social inclusion, has set herself the goal of strengthening families and reducing the divorce rate, which at 40 per cent is one of the highest in Europe.

New Zealand is similar by population at 4.5 million compared to Norway at 5.1 million. We are also similar in the divorce stakes at just over 40%, although this rate is at the lower end of those European countries that do have high divorce rates, in the case of Belgium, one of the worst running over the 70% mark in 2010.

“Protecting the family is something that has not been sufficiently prioritised. Under us it will be,” she said.

Ms Horne did not say how the government might help stimulate romance between parents, but she does see a role for it in promoting the place of the family.

This article appears to be inspired by a debate over parental leave. There is an embodied suggestion that Norwegian couples are divorcing over disagreements about housework but the government wants to reduce the current level of Fathers’ parental leave.

Norway’s government has also committed to increasing funding for state-run counselling services for couples and reducing fathers’ entitlement to paternity leave.

It’s a bit hard to figure out from the article, exactly where the politics of housework has got to in Norway, but interesting that they are looking at doing a u-turn of equal parental leave.

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