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September 2023 Global Roundup

Family related news included a focus on the decline of marriage and birthrates in South Korea, and the family exodus from NYC, both due to the unaffordability of child care and housing, among other non-family friendly factors. Also highlighted in the news is the fact that divorce in the U.S., which is governed by an arbitrary constellation of policies, has a disproportionately harmful impact on women. On a lighter note, research shows that being in a happy relationship benefits people in a myriad of ways; below you will find some tips to help you on that path.

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Seeking Love, With Help From the City Government

John Yoon, Reporting from Seongnam, South Korea, The New York Times, August 7, 2023

A growing number of cities across South Korea are sponsoring blind-dating events for singles, desperate to prod young adults onto a track for marriage and family as the country has recorded the world’s lowest fertility rate for three years in a row. Many young South Koreans, though, say that the real obstacles to raising the birthrate are the staggering costs of child care, unaffordable homes, slim job prospects and crushing work hours — and that blind-dating events do little to address these issues. Women, in particular, say they have been discouraged by the prevalence of discrimination against working mothers.

To Be Happy, Marriage Matters More Than Caree

David Brooks, The New York Times, August 17, 2023

The author argues that there are mountains of evidence to show that intimate relationships, not career, are at the core of life, and that those intimate relationships will have a downstream effect on everything else you do. He believes that we could do a lot to raise the marriage rate by increasing wages; financial precarity inhibits marriage. But as a culture, we could improve our national happiness levels by making sure people focus most on what is primary — marriage and intimate relationships — and not on what is important but secondary — their careers.

The dog days of summer are boom times for divorce. Here’s why it’s tougher in this economy

Alexandra Peers, CNN, Saturday, August 19, 2023

Divorce filings tend to peak every March and August, according to lawyers and research studies. So, right now, many people are wrestling with the emotional strains and financial challenges of divorce. The current climate calls for strategy, flexibility, and compassion, according to real estate brokers, accountants, and divorce attorneys.

The Best Relationship Advice We’ve Gotten So Far This Year

Catherine Pearson and Jancee Dunn, The New York Times, August 23, 2023

Experts increasingly know that human connection is integral to well-being, every bit as essential as getting enough sleep or moving your body. But relationships, particularly romantic partnerships, can be tricky. Here is a roundup of tips to keep your connection strong and healthy.

How Soaring Child Care Costs Are Crushing New Yorkers

Eliza Shapiro and Asmaa Elkeurti, Photographs by Maansi Srivastava, The New York Times, September 11, 2023

As the city’s affordability crisis worsens for nearly everyone, even upper-middle-class New Yorkers are struggling to pay for child care. The workers who provide it are struggling too. The reporters heard from more than 150 families in New York City about the costs of child care and spoke with dozens of them. In recent years, only the astronomical cost of housing has presented a greater obstacle to working families than the cost of child care, experts said.

America Makes It too Hard and Dangerous to Get Divorced

Rebecca Feinglos and Sophia Laurenzi,, April 27, 2023

Divorce in the U.S. is governed by an arbitrary constellation of policies that impede the freedom to end a marriage and have a disproportionately harmful impact on women. And as confusing and inconvenient as these laws are, the impact they can have on women in financially unstable or violent relationships is nothing short of devastating. Policies that make people wait to get divorced are paternalistic at best, and dangerous at worst.

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