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Colombia

  • By: Keri L. Heitner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The Republic of Colombia is a large, diverse South American nation with a moderate fertility rate that varies by ethnicity and urbanity. Mothers are eligible for maternity leave and breastfeeding breaks, and most women receive skilled prenatal care and birth support. Marriage rates are falling and divorce is increasing; meanwhile, traditional gender roles are changing. Women and men have similar educational levels. Family equality is written into the Colombian Constitution.

Fertility rates have been decreasing since the 1980s, but vary by urbanity and ethnicity. Colombian mothers have an average of three children; Pacific Afro-Colombians five to seven children. Indigenous women may feel pressure to preserve the culture by having many children. Maternity/adoption leave covers 12 weeks, with the husband or partner entitled to one of the ...

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