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Italy

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

Italy's birthrate is the lowest in Europe and one-child families are typical. Maternity leave is for five months, and income-tested cash benefits are provided for children. Separation is more common than divorce. Although the Catholic Church fought referendums legalizing divorce and abortion, the practice of Catholicism has evolved toward a separation of the sacred and secular realms. Italy was rated high on reproductive health care. Family rights legislation passed in 1975 promoted spousal gender equality within a family.

Italy's birthrate in the lowest in the Western world at 1.33 children per woman, and the population is aging. The one-child family is the most typical. Italian women experience social and governmental pressure to have children to offset population loss, yet many either seek other roles or cannot ...

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