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Belgium

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

Belgium is a country with diverse regional and cultural identities. The three main regions are Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels. The main languages are Flemish and French, with a German-speaking minority. Belgium is a highly developed country, and mothers benefit from an extensive social support network; three phases of family policies support motherhood. Women also have high participation rates in all levels of education

The fertility rate is low and the divorce rate is the highest in the European Union, but children and family are important parts of women's identities. Many Roman Catholics in Belgium historically opposed legalization of divorce, abortion, and contraception, but there is currently a high use of modern contraceptives. The vast majority of births are attended by skilled personnel. Belgium's low rate of ...

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