jueves, 23 de marzo de 2017

Parental leave for grandparents | MercatorNet | March 24, 2017

Parental leave for grandparents

| MercatorNet | March 24, 2017

Parental leave for grandparents

Parental leave for grandparents

Cuba is desperate for babies.
Shannon Roberts | Mar 23 2017 | comment 

Cuba is well aware of its demographic woes and continues to think of ways to turn its low fertility rate around.  The latest initiative is to give parental leave to the grandparents of newborns.   They are entitled to receive up to 60% of their annual salary for up to a year. This adds to what is already a generous parental leave policy which gives mothers and fathers partial pay for a year.  The country also offers significantly reduced daycare rates for mothers of two or more babies.
According to the Communist Party newspaper Granma, the decision to extend parental leave to grandparents was necessary:
“to deal with the high degree of aging among the population, and to encourage fertility in the short term … The challenge of raising the birthrate in Cuba is a challenge that cannot be put off,”
However, so far the initiatives have not managed to increase the birth rate to replacement level – it is currently just 1.7 births per woman.  Some Cubans argue women are not financially able to have children.  Others say that it is the propensity for women to work and study instead of having children that has caused the low fertility rate.  The country also has an extremely high abortion rate – there were nearly 30 abortions for every 1,000 women of childbearing age according to 2010 data compiled by the United Nations.  Among countries that permit abortion, only Russia had a higher rate.
On top of the low fertility rates, between 60,000 to 80,000 Cubans emigrate each year, many of them young people looking for better opportunities in the United States, Europe and Latin America.  Thus, there is a shrinking pool of Cuban workers to keep the state-run economy afloat.
As a result, Cuba’s population is set decline dramatically over the next decade.  By 2025, due to low fertility and high emigration, the population is projected to fall from 11 million to 10 million people.   With the increasingly elderly population, many struggle to survive.  Pensions are small and the country’s nursing homes are often in terrible shape; many elderly prefer to go into one of the 11 homes across the country run by religious orders, such as the Santovenia asylum in the Cerro neighborhood of Havana which is run by nuns who belong to a congregation called "sisters of the unattended elderly". 
One elderly woman who used to be an engineer now rummages through the rubbish in search of recyclable products to survive.  She writes:
“People see me picking up cans, but they don’t know I was a prize-winning engineer and that I even traveled to the Soviet Union in 1983 … I have always been a hard worker because the most important thing is my family.  It doesn’t bother me to wear old clothes while I collect the cans. The one who has to look good is my grandson, who just started high school."
According to reports, many elderly now walk the streets in Havana and other cities, selling home-made candy or peanuts to make ends meet, and the number of beggars on the streets of Cuba’s main cities has visibly increased.  It is a sad situation and a complex problem to solve given the myriad of issues communist Cuba faces.
- See more at: https://www.mercatornet.com/demography/view/parental-leave-for-grandparents/19543#sthash.QzNK0ulV.dpuf


March 24, 2017

It has long been a mystery to me why Denmark stays at the top of World Happiness Day country rankings -- actually, second this year, after Norway. Cold and dark with a high divorce rate it doesn't seem to stand a chance compared to, um, Greece. But somehow "the Nordic model" of society keeps everyone happy -- or does it? The World Happiness Report 2017 contains the results of a study that, although it doesn't include the Nordic countries, set me looking at their mental health statistics. You can read about what I found in my piece below.
Mathew Otieno, writing from Nairobi in Kenya, also has some interesting country rankings. Would you believe? -- Kenya ranks before Germany, Israel and New Zealand for internet speeds, and Rwanda has one of the cleanest capitals in the world. I don't know where they come on the happiness list but fast internet would be some people's idea of heaven.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,

What’s the secret of the world’s happiest countries?
By Carolyn Moynihan
Judging by a new study it might be as prosaic as popping a pill.
Read the full article
Parental leave for grandparents
By Shannon Roberts
Cuba is desperate for babies.
Read the full article
Africa is topping the right lists
By Mathew Otieno
The continent ranks ahead of the world in some good things too.
Read the full article
Addiction or compulsion: our love/hate relationship with technology
By Heather Zeiger
Is existential angst driving us to connect?
Read the full article
Sticky competition spoils maple syrup harvest
By Jennifer Minicus
A new Pumpkin Falls mystery
Read the full article
Why I am not going to buy a cellphone
By Philip Reed
Why should I be tethered to the rest of the world 24/7?
Read the full article
Loving the difficult child
By Mary Cooney
There are times when it can be a real challenge.
Read the full article
Is it possible to reform Islam?
By Michele Brignone
Yes, of course. But reformations can sometimes move in a conservative direction
Read the full article
‘Servant of God 2.0’
By Chiara Bertoglio
A normal Italian teenager is on his way to being declared a saint
Read the full article

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Parental leave for grandparents

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