Monday, December 5, 2011

Stresses on the family and domestic violence in Aruba

Merviné Kock, Lilian Felter and Lily Marval

1 Introduction

Family structures have undergone a lot of changes for the last decades. Due to rises in the cost of living on the island of Aruba, most women are compelled to take on one or more jobs to provide for their families. This means that mothers are constantly away from home and children are often home alone for many hours, because there is a lack of affordable and structured childcare on the island. Single mothers are the ones that face the biggest problems regarding childcare and child support. The number of single mothers is increasing yearly. The absence of the father has consequences for the mother and for the children. For many reasons, mothers choose to take care of their children without the support of the father. One of these reasons is domestic violence. Every day, there are reported cases of domestic violence on the island and the situation is getting worse. For every reported case, there are many cases that go unreported, because people feel ashamed to talk about negative things that happen at home. In this preliminary study, we try to shed light on the family structure, the role of the father within the family and domestic violence on the island of Aruba.

2 Changes in family structure and stress on families

The family is a social institution that’s binds two or more individuals into a primary group to the extent that the members of the group are related to one another on the basis of blood relationships, affinity or some other symbolic network of association (United Nations, 2003). The family is also the essential pillar upon which all society is built. A phenomenon that is characteristic of the family is constant change. The dynamic character of the family has an important impact on a host of other social institutional spheres (United Nations, 2003). Ideally, the family provides its members with protection, companionship, security, and socialization. The structure of the family and the needs that the family fulfills vary from society to society (Slideshare, 2009). The nuclear family two adults and their children is the main unit in some societies. In others, it is a subordinate part of an extended family, which also consists of grandparents and other relatives. A third family type is the single parent family, in which children live with an unmarried, divorced, or widowed mother or father (Slideshare, 2009).
In the Caribbean there are several types of family structures. These families have had to deal with a history of large scale demographic, economic, political and social change (Barrow, 1996). There are four predominant types of family structure in the Caribbean: the marital union, the common law union[1], the visiting union and the single parent family (Single Parent Center, 2010). In the Caribbean context, its seems to be a fact that the women take on the roles of
both the man and the woman when it comes to rearing the children (Barrow, 1996; Marcha & Verweel, 2008; Bos, 2008)One can argue that this is also the case in Aruba. The Aruban family is usually multiethnic in composition, and as such the roles of fathers and mothers are often defined in diverse ways (family.jrank.org, 2008). One factor that differentiates Arubans from other Caribbean islanders is that Arubans did not experience plantation slavery and the national identity was forged through the encounter between poor European descended colonists and Amerindians, with more limited participation by African descended peoples.

Over the past decades the family structure in Aruba has undergone many changes, such that the traditional family structure is at risk. In the era of our parents, the extended family structure consisted of mothers, fathers, children and a host of other relatives. Besides bringing up their own children, adults took care of the children of their kin and other children in the neighborhood. Fathers were employed outside the home and mothers stayed home to take care of the children, to do the chores and to manage the household.

Due to immigration, Aruba has become a multicultural society, and each incoming group has brought with it different kinds of family structures. Today, families in Aruba belong principally to the following categories: matrifocal (female-headed families), extended, compound, nuclear, and one-parent families (Barrow, 1996; MBZK, 2010). Mothers have a nurturing role in the family and are usually responsible for taking care of the children and household chores. The number of female-headed households has increased dramatically during the last decades, and, at the present time, there are approximately 6000 female-headed families on the island, which has a total population of some 100,000 people.

During the 1990s, Aruba’s economy grew quickly and there was an insufficient number of workers to fill all the existing vacancies. These labor shortages lead to a relaxation of immigration policy (Nos Aruba 2025, 2010) and as a result, the shortages in the labor market were reduced by the admission of several thousand foreign workers, many of them women. By 2000, the number of female immigrants living on Aruba had risen to 16,585. In addition, the government extended the retirement age for locals and women were encouraged to become part of the labor market. The rate of participation of women in the labor market rose dramatically, and stood at 57.8 % in 2009.

Another important factor that caused women to join the labor force is the increasing divorce rates, which have now reached 70% (CBS, 2010). Besides its negative impact on children, divorce usually results in female-headed households, where women struggle to find work or are trapped in jobs that pay low wages. The income of the husband is withdrawn, and many women find themselves in a losing battle to obtain support from fathers for their children. Some women who cannot afford after-school child-care are forced to quit their jobs and go on welfare, but welfare payments are well below the poverty line. Others choose to stay employed while their children stay home alone after school and fend for themselves.

24.2% of all female-headed households live under the poverty line, which is set at 1985 florin per month for a single mother with one child, at 3176 florin per month for a single mother with two children, and at 3772 florin per month for a single mother with three children (CBS, 2005; 2010). The minimum wage is 1542,90 florin per month and the average welfare payment roughly half of that figure, meaning that all single mothers who earn a minimum wage or who are on welfare are living under the poverty line.

When single mothers are forced to work, there are negative consequences for their families as well as for society at large ( CBS, 2009; WGK, 2011). In 2010, 148 children were born to teenage mothers, 58.4 % of registered births were to single mothers and about 56% of out of wedlock births were to mothers aged between 20 and 29 years (CBS, 2010). Child legislation equalises the rights of children born out of wedlock to those born in wedlock, but most fathers do not fulfil their legal obligations to their children.

The changes in family structure that children experience during their lives are not without consequences. Researchers in Western societies have found that children from father-absent homes manifest a number of problematic behaviors, including sadness and depression, delinquency, aggression, sex role difficulties, early initiation of sexual activity, teenage pregnancy, poor social and adaptive functioning and low self- esteem(Ramkissoon, 2005).

Caribbean families are characterized by patterns of mother and grandmother-dominated households, absent fathers, common law unions as opposed to marriage, frequent termination of these unions, and child shifting. Child shifting is where children are sent to live with relatives because the parents have migrated, remarried or initiated a common law union with a new partner. Due to these trends, young boys grow up viewing matriarchal households, absent fathers, and adultery as norms and tend to continue these trends as adults when they themselves have families.

As a result, in the Caribbean there are a many absent fathers. While those Caribbean fathers who are physically present are expected to be the main economical providers for their families, they are often emotionally unavailable and have weak social ties to their children. Researchers in Jamaica have investigated two aspects of the father-child relationship: physical absence and psychological absence (Samms-Vaughan, 2005). Psychological absence refers to the father's absence in the minds of their children based on emotional inaccessibility, lack of responsibility and indifference to the welfare of their children. In the final analysis, psychological presence of the father is more important to the emotional well-being of the child than is physical presence. Physical presence necessarily promotes psychological presence, but physical presence and psychological absence can lead to serious psychological damage.

Parenting stress negatively affects all aspects of children's lives, including cognitive development, school performance, behavior problems and behavior strengths (Samms-Vaughan, 2005). Ricketts and Anderson (cited in Samms-Vaughan, 2005) found that highly stressed Jamaican parents do not spend as much time as other parents interacting with their children and much of their interaction is inappropriate, with high levels of harsh discipline. They also found that parental stress was reduced by access to parenting information, but that relatively few parents had such access. The implication is that parenting information and support should be made more widely available, to improve parent-child interaction.

3 Stress, neglect, abuse, and violence

The Children’s Helpline, an Aruban call center for young people in distress, receives phone calls from children as young as 8 years old, but the majority of callers are aged 11-16. According to the Children’s Helpline, the most common problems experienced by the island’s youth were related to: relationships (9,5% in 2007 and 10,5 % in 2009), sexuality (6,2 % in 2007 and 8,0 % in 2009), family (6,7 % in 2007 and 7,0 % in 2009),and domestic violence (3,9 % in 2006 and 4,6 % in 2009).

In a study on child abuse and neglect on Aruba, Guda (2008) gives the following breakdown of cases in recent years:

Physical abuse 19.8 %

Sexual abuse 15.9%

Emotional abuse 12 6.6 %

Physical neglect 25.3 %

Neglect of education 12.1 %

Emotional neglect 13.7 %

Other forms of abuse 6.6 %

As elsewhere in the world, domestic violence is a major and rapidly increasing problem in Aruba (Ministerie van Justitie, 2002;Lünneman & Bruinsma, 2005). Despite the fact that every day there are several reported (and many more unreported) cases of maltreatment of women in Aruba, there has never been an inquiry commissioned to investigate the magnitude of this problem. Such an inquiry is necessary for many reasons, but one of the most compelling is the fact that we have no idea of the true extent of the problem because most cases of domestic violence are never made public. Normally people would like to say that they are happy, that they have a good job and a good income; that their children are doing very well at school and that love reigns supreme at home. Nobody likes to give publicity to family problems of any kind. Women who are battered by their husband or partner will usually not talk about the sad events occurring at home. They will only notify the police when they or their children are seriously injured or when there is extensive destruction of property. It is difficult for a woman to lodge a complaint against her husband or partner. The arrest or imprisonment of a father often compounds the traumas and suffering of already battered and distressed mothers and children. Nevertheless sometimes domestic violence requires intervention by the police (Wilson, 1997; Beke& Bottenberg, 2003). In Aruba, on the 26th of March 2011, a jealous husband (aged 34) shot his wife (aged 31) three times in the presence of her father and her child. Later that day he tried to commit suicide (Amigoe, 2011).

That is the reason why legal regulations have made intervention possible in private places like the home, making an exception to the human right of privacy stipulated in article 8 of the International Treaty of Rome on Human Rights as well as in the first chapter of the Aruban constitution, where it is stipulated that government has the obligation to protect its citizens. Domestic violence is a crime and therefore punishable. Recently the parliament in the Netherlands approved a bill which stipulates that a husband who has battered his wife or has acted violently against his children must leave the home, instead of the wife seeking refuge with her children in a shelter. (Lünnemann, 2003; Lünnemann, Romkens & De Roos, 2009). In Aruba there is now a similar bill of law before parliament that has not yet been approved.

Domestic violence against women occurs wherever society has placed the status of men above the status of women under an ideology which is called patriarchy or machismo. This ideology is manifested in granting men more rights and privileges than women, like being the head of the household, having the right to study, to work, to vote, to be a politician, to become a professional, etc. It is also manifested in forcing women to do all of the work related to raising children, cooking, cleaning, etc. (Jenainati & Groves, 2007).

During the 18th and 19th centuries, some notable women, especially in the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, started to challenge their subordinate social position and demanded equal rights. This was the beginning of the struggle of feminist movements against oppression by men. After many years of struggle and sacrifice, feminism has succeeded in changing some laws, attitudes, and other aspects of patriarchy, but there is much more to be done.

Aruba has taken advantage of some of these gains made by feminists and women today have many more opportunities in education and employment than they did before. An indication of the success of the feminist movement is the fact that, percentage wise, Aruban women are now better prepared academically than Aruban men. An indication of the challenges for the future for the feminist movement is the fact that despite their better levels of education, Aruban women are still paid less for doing the same type of work than men with the same or even lower levels of education and women are still under-represented in the most highly paid and most prestigious occupations. Typically a woman who has become a professional marries and has children, but her male partner does not want to take on his share of domestic responsibilities which would allow her to practice her profession outside the home. We have found in our interviews with battered women that this is one of the main factors causing stress and violence in Aruban households.

Patriarchy and the domestic violence that it inevitably causes have had a devastating impact on women, children, families, and societies in Aruba and the Caribbean. Approximately 70% of the men who abuse their female partners also abuse their children (Wilson, 1997). Children who have experienced domestic violence often experience disruptions to normal developmental patterns that result in emotional, behavioral and cognitive problems. The alarming rise in school dropout rates, especially among boys in the Caribbean, can be traced in part to domestic violence, as can the rise in teenage pregnancies. Children who have been exposed to or have been the victims of domestic violence often grow up to perpetuate the cycle of violence, so that when they form their own families they become batterers themselves. (Wilson, 1997; Lünneman & Bruinsma, 2005) The skyrocketing divorce rates in Aruba and the rest of the Caribbean and the resulting stresses on families are directly related to increasing levels of domestic violence. Much public violence is committed by people who were abused as children, which means that domestic violence has played a key role in the rapidly increasing rates of crime and juvenile delinquency in Aruba and the Caribbean region (Ministerie van Justitie, 2002; Van de Rakt, Nieuwbeerta& de Graaf, 2006).

4 Conclusion: How can we break the cycle of violence?

As we have seen, violent behavior is learned, and unfortunately it is often learned early in life, when the brain is making critical connections. Along with families, early childhood teachers and other caregivers can be crucial in protecting children from violence and supporting their healthy development. Just as they can learn to be violent, children can also learn through a loving relationship to be kind, cooperative, patient and understanding. They can learn constructive ways to solve problems, to deal with disagreements and to handle anger. With this early foundation of knowledge and skill, children are more likely to develop positive relations with other children (and later on with their partners), enjoy academic success, complete school, and lead more fulfilling adult lives.

For many children in Aruba, the media have come to play the educational role that formerly was played by parents and teachers. Unfortunately, much of the media aimed at younger audiences is saturated with conflict, competition, and violence. Children, especially boys, are conditioned to imitate the violent heroes who they see daily on the screen engaged in physical violence and murder, which sanctions and promotes aggressive behavior. It shows children that violence is an acceptable way to handle conflict. It makes it easy for children to ignore the suffering, fear, insecurity and the other horrible consequences of violence, and instills in them an appetite for ever more violence in ever more extreme forms. As parents, teachers and caregivers we need to demonstrate to our children that real life violence hurts. We should avoid buying violent toys and games for children and encourage games that we play together, which are fun and educational. We should protest against all the violent movies, toys and games that are being promoted and sold.

Judges are offering batterers therapy designed to change patterns of aggression and to uncover the origin of their violent behavior and anger. Families in general and victims in particular are being offered restorative justice therapy, which uses a holistic approach to show people how to treat each other and care for each other. These are some of the ways by which we can begin to break the cycle of violence(Morris, 2001)

REFERENCES

[1]Common law union: parents live together, but are not legally married (Slideshare, 2009)

Amigoe (2011). Man schiet echtgenote drie keer in gezicht. Amigoe, March 28.
Barrow, Christine M. (Ed.) (1996). Family in the Caribbean: themes and perspectives. Kingston: Ian Randle.
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Bos, Rodney P. (2008). Antillianen: crimineel of gewoon anders? Een verkenning van de Antilliaanse (straat)cultuur: leerboek voor professionals.Zutphen: Walburg Pers.
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CBS (2004). Double or quits. A study on recent migration to Aruba 1993-2003. Aruba: CBS.
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Evans, Lorraine & Kimberly Davies (2000). No sissy boys here: a content analysis of the representation of masculinity in elementary school reading textbooks. Sex Roles, 42, 3-4, 255-270.
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Jacobs, Julie N. & Michelle L. Kelly (2006). Predictors of paternal involvement in childcare in dual-earner families with young children. Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers, 4, 1, 23-47.
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Lamb, Michael E. (Ed.) (2010, [1976]). The role of the father in child development. Hoboken: Wiley.
Lünnemann, Katinka (2003). Interventie door uithuisplaatsing: plegers van huiselijk geweld het huis uit. Nemesis, 2, 43-45.
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Website

Balancing work and family: a preliminary study on the challenges that Aruban woman face on a daily basis[1]

Merviné E. Kock, Instituto Pedagogico Arubano

We are female beings poised in the edge of the new millennium. We are the majority of our species, yet we have dwelt in the shadows. We are the illiterate, the laborers, the refugees, and the poor. And we vow no more. For thousands years women have had responsibility without the power, while men have had the power without responsibility. We offer these men who risk being brothers a balance, a future, a hand. But with or without them, we will go on.


A Woman’s Creed,[2] 1998.

Love, commitment and work. Love and work are the foundation of the basic human needs for the huge edifice of society.

Kanter, 2006


1 Introduction

Coping strategies are psychological tools that women naturally develop in order to survive. This study uses data from recent studies to examine how Aruban and other Caribbean women deal with the various challenges in their lives as a result of balancing work and family responsibilities. The well-being of Aruban and Caribbean women lies primarily on two premises; work as a source of livelihood and work as a purposeful activity[3]. This essentially means that woman have to combine both employment and family responsibilities simultaneously to survive. On a daily basis women in Aruba need to cope with the demands of work, family and countless other things. The constant maneuvering between the above mentioned demands often causes serious tensions physically and mentally impacting not only these women but also their loved ones. Regardless of all the drawbacks, Aruban and Caribbean women have amazingly found ways to survive. In the following paragraphs we will take a closer look at the general development of women in Aruba and the Caribbean as well as the strategies mothers use to deal with their multiple roles in society.

2 Aruban women in perspective

As we begin the twenty-first century, women in Aruba are increasingly obliged to make tradeoffs in order to balance love, commitment and work. Gender is an important part of this discussion. Work, family and gender have always been inextricably intertwined. It would be difficult to study these variables without recognizing their relation to one other. Just as the interpretation of work and family has changed, so too have women’s and men’s lives (Wharton, 2006). A woman’s working world has changed into a 24-hour a day, 7-days a week responsibility with simultaneous demands from work and family etc. Experience has shown us that despite the increase in responsibility, it is still possible for an individual to adopt coping strategies that prevent negative spillovers between different domains(Poelmans, 2005).

In 2000, 63.7 percent (CBS, 2003) of women in Aruba were part of the formal labor market. Most of these women were married or single mothers. Research has shown that these women work over 40 hours a week on a regular basis. Due to rises in the cost of living, many women are compelled to take on multiple jobs, especially migrant women who also take care of their relatives in their homelands.

Women in Aruba continue to act as primary caregivers and perform the bulk of household tasks. Luckily, nowadays many women have the choice to start a career, stay at home with the children or do both. Beside this positive development, many women still feel that they have to educate their husbands on household matters and childrearing responsibilities (even when the husband has a high level of education). Many middle-class households have a difficult time surviving without two incomes.

Between the generation of my mother and my eldest sisters, an enormous change has taken place. My mother was a stay at home mom and took care of my thirteen brothers and sisters (myself included). She had a tough job. Her household tasks included cooking, cleaning, ironing, washing dishes, doing laundry, supervising homework assignments, etc. However my eldest sisters were the first to go to school, to get an education and enter the labor market. Despite this admirable development my eldest sisters, whom at that time were civil servants, still felt obligated to retire when they got married. There was still a major discrepancy between the way men and women were viewed. As late as the 1970s and 1980s, female government workers were not allowed to be married and be employed at the same time.

3 Women and development in the Caribbean

The original female inhabitants of the Caribbean belonged to different indigenous ethnic groups (Shepherd, 1999; Shepherd, 2011). These indigenous women played significant social and economic roles in their own cultures. The arrival of Europeans severely affected their world, practically wiping out large numbers of their populations. Those who survived have been exploited in several ways. By 1640, indigenous labor had largely been replaced by African slavery in the overall Caribbean. Of the approximately 15 million Africans that were enslaved, at least one third were females (Shepherd, 1999; Shepherd, 2011).

These female slaves were victims of total exploitation and physical and sexual abuse. Resistance by enslaved women took on many forms; violent and non-violent (Shepherd, 1999). By 1865 slavery was abolished in most parts of the Caribbean. The Caribbean woman got her ‘so called’ freedom. But is the Caribbean woman actually free of exploitation, of oppresion, of physical abuse and of domestic violence? What about the feminization of poverty or the unequal payment of women on the jobfront?

Over the past decades, the Caribbean has undergone many positive changes (Ellis, 2003). However, on the social level women are still treated as second-class citizens. All Caribbean women are subject to unequal relations of gender(Barriteau, 2001). Although the number of women in the Caribbean workforce is growing faster than for any other group, the majorities are still concentrated in the so-called traditional female markets (Ellis, 2003).The fact that an increasing amount of women are entering the labor market is not always a guarantee for the emergence of an egalitarian familial relationship, particulary where men’s jobs are threatened (Essed, Goldberg,& Kobayasi, 2009). In spite of their high levels of education, women are under-represented in top-level jobs, because they do not manage to break through the “glass ceiling”[1] (Ellis, 2003; Kibbelaar, 2005). In her research, Kibbelaar (2005) finds that women experience family responsibilities as an obstacle to movement up the social ladder. Most of the laws in Caribbean countries state that employers should not discriminate against employees based on their gender, yet there continues to be a gap between law and social practice.

4 Education, migration and poverty

The vehicle for social mobility in the Caribbean is education. There is a general belief in the Caribbean that formal education, training and the acquisition of academic qualifications increases an individual’s employment opportunities. According to a recent study conducted in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba entitled “Aan de slag met sterke vrouwen in het Koninkrijk”, women are convinced that having an education is the key to obtaining a well-paid job and an opportunity to climb up the social ladder (MBZK[2], 2010). There is evidence that more females are making use of education and training opportunities than their male counterparts (Ellis, 2003). Male dropout rates in primary and secondary schools in most Caribbean countries are very high (RCC[3], 2009; Narain, 2010).
In 1957, for the first time 12 female students were selected to enter the HBS, the academically oriented secondary school in Aruba[4]. Female enrollment in all levels of education has consistently increased since 1957. The statistics show that female enrollment at the secondary level is now estimated to be at 57% and at the tertiary level, 69.3% (CBS, 2008). In spite of the higher educational achievement of females in Caribbean societies, research has shown that unqualified males are more likely to find employment than qualified females. Studies have also shown that women tend to be more qualified than men when holding similar positions (Ellis, 2003). In terms of wages, in the public sector men and women in Aruba earn similar salaries, but in the private sector

women earn less than men. Men earn an average of approximately 525 florins more than women per month (CBS, 2003). It is estimated that Aruba is home to 5,523 single mothers. The Central Bureau of Statistics reports that about 25% of these women live under the poverty line (CBS, 2004).

A small number of women hold positions of leadership at executive levels in the Caribbean. Presently a very low percentage of women are represented in parliament and in the executive branch of government. Women’s low participation in politics can be attributed to their negative perceptions of politics, and also their desire to have families (Ellis, 2003).

The migration rates in the Caribbean are among the highest in the world. In some countries, migration rates among women are even higher than among men (Ellis, 2003).Because of the lack of economic opportunities, women often migrate to distant lands with the hope of finding employment. The fact that some have little in the way of marketable skills makes them vulnerable to exploitation, and they often resort to prostitution as a means of getting by (Ellis, 2003; Kempadoo, 2004). While these migrant women are compelled to accept low-paying jobs in their country of migration, many have been able to send back remittances to improve the economic situation of their families in their home countries (Ellis, 2003; CBS, 2004).

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the feminization of household headships has been strongly embedded within discourses of the feminization of poverty. The divorce rate on Aruba is very high, with 75% of marriages ending in divorce. Female-headed households have been depicted as the poorest of the poor, among the 1200 families in Aruba that live under the poverty line and struggle on a daily basis to provide for themselves and for their families (Fernandez-Kelly & Shefner, 2006; Aruba for Aruba, 2011). On the island, single mothers in general and young mothers in particlar have difficulty entering the labor force after becoming mothers, and receive little or no support to finish their education (MBZK, 2010). Gender inequality is strongly correlated with poverty (Nussbaum& Glover, 2007).

Because of the lack of essential support, women cannot lead lives that are fully human. This lack of support is frequently caused by prejudice, discrimination, and social injustice perpetrated against women. Even in a constitutional democracy like Aruba, women are equals in theory, but second-class citizens in reality (Nussbaum & Glover, 2007).

5 Mothers; work and family

Aruba is a multicultural society with an unequal gender situation. Throughout the 1970s, the typical outmigrant was a male breadwinner who moved to another country in search of better employment opportunities. In the 1980s, women started emigrating more independently.

In Caribbean societies, there exist multiple family types. Families tend to have a matrifocal or matricentric structure. Evans and Davies (1996) describe a number of basic types of family structures, including:

1. The marital union

2. The common-law union (couple living together, but not legally married

3. The visiting union (the mother still lives in her parents’ home)

4. The single parent family.

5. The blended family[1]

6. The commuter family[2]

7. The childless family[3]

Family conditions vary depending on circumstances and cultural background.

Female participation in the labor market has rapidly increased during the last four decades. In 1960, the participation was as low as 26.7 percent (CBS, 2003). It is now 56.7 percent (CBS, 2008). Another important reason why so many women have joined the labor force is because of increasing divorce rates. Aruban women bear the brunt of the childrearing responsibilities while the men still hold on to their old lifestyles.

Work intensity has increased and has added a strain on many families. Bosses want their workers to respond in speedy fashion, consume and produce vast amounts of information, provide comprehensive customer service and to top it off, be on call 24 hours a day. The pressure has become nearly insupportable (Grant-Vallone & Donaldson, 2001; Zimmerman, 2001; Gambles, Rapoport, & Lewis, 2006; Pitt-Catsouphes, Kossek, & Sweet, 2006). Because of this fast-paced life, parents cannot dedicate enough time to their children, their spouses, and their community (Guest, 2001; Grant-Vallone & Donaldson, 2001). The consequences are evedent. There is a increase in juvenile crime, child neglect and abuse, drug abuse and school dropout rates. Adults very rarely participate in community organisations and the elderly are put in ‘old people’s homes’ (Guest, 2001; Grant-Vallone & Donaldson, 2001; Middleton, 2008). In Aruba, juvenile crime has increased by 150% (KPA, 2008) and teenage pregancy rates are among the highest in the region at 12.3 % (CBS, 2008).

The above mentioned presures have effected women not only physically but also psychologically. Many women are even on the verge of a mental breakdown (Zimmerman, 2001; Poelmans, 2005; Pitt-Catsouphes, Kossek,& Sweet, 2006; Mason & Mason Ekman, 2007; Middleton, 2008). They have to cope with burnout, psychosomatic complaints, psychiatric disorders, mental stress and psysical strain (Guest, 2001; Grant-Vallone & Donaldson, 2001; Poelmans, 2005; Pitt-Catsouphes, Kossek, & Sweet, 2006). Few organizations have implemented appropriate support mechanisms for their female employees (CBS, 2003). Many Aruban women are left to develop their personal work-family coping strategies.


REFERENCES

[1] Edited by Gregory Richardson.
[2] Robin Morgan in collaboration with Perdita Huston, Sunetra Puri, Mahnaz Afkhami, Diane Faulkner, Corrine Kumar, Simla Wali, Paola Melchiar.
[3] Spiritual development is also important.
[4] Glass ceiling: …..invisible artificial barriers, which block women from senior executive positions…
(Kibbelaar, 2005).
[5] MBZK: Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken (Ministry of the Interior and Relations of State).
[6] RCC: Regional Caribbean Conference on Keeping Boys Out of Risk.
[7] HBS: Hoge Burgerschool = a kind of high school.
[8] These families are generally created by divorce and remarriage or live together. In blended families, biologically unrelated children live in the same household. (Father with his children and mother with her children who than have children together.)
[9] One of the parents lives and works in a different country. One parent provides the primary residence, and the other parent comes home for a short period of time. This occurs for different reasons, e.g.difficulties to find a job.
[10] Not wanted or wanted to have children but were unable because of a variety of social and/or biological forces that interfere and result in unplanned childlessness or choice not to have children because they concentrate on their careers, or have another perspective regarding having children. (FamilyTies. [n.d.]. What are the family Types. Retrieved May 5, 2011, from Family Ties: http://www.edu.pe.ca/southernkings/familytypes.htm).


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