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Title: Marital separation : how do traditional roles in marriage and family life affect women?
Authors: Zerafa, Mariella (2008)
Keywords: Separation (Law) -- Malta
Families -- Malta
Marriage -- Malta
Occupations -- Malta
Equality -- Malta
Women -- Malta
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Zerafa, M. (2008). Marital separation : how do traditional roles in marriage and family life affect women? (Bachelor’s dissertation).
Abstract: The Maltese society is moulded in a traditional matrix where the religious, the social and the political are intertwined. Marriage and family life are considered as milestones among its members. Marriage is viewed as sacrosanct and its preservation is considered an obligation among its bearers. In a post modern world, characterised by individualism and personal fulfilment, how do traditional role expectations affect the way in which the Maltese are basing their decisions regarding marriage? In this view, the research study strives to analyse to what extent traditional roles and marital obligations affect women whenever these are faced with marital separation. This study was thought of in the light of the recent family trends that the Maltese family life is undergoing. Considering that the index for marital breakdown had tripled itself in a span of ten years, we deemed appropriate to analyse how female headed households are dealing with their new demands. Research suggests that following a marital breakdown, female spouses are more likely to experience emotional, economical and social distress, compared to their male counterparts. These factors locate separated women into a disadvantaged position as they are faced with social and economical inequalities. As a result, marital breakdown might be perceived as a social problem. Qualitative research methodology helped assess whether the literature reviewed is in congruence with the research findings. It also helped us to indulge more deeply in the issue at hand. Through twelve semi-structured interviews with separated women and women in the process of separation, we strived to analyse whether such repercussions are also felt upon separated Maltese women. In fact, after analysing the retrieved data we came to the conclusion that separated women do undergo such a stressful situation whenever they are faced with marital breakdown. Research :findings suggest that variations in coping strategies are mainly attributed to age, education, employment and the number of children present in the household. In this view, social workers, through direct interventions with such women, should empower them and help them in regaining control over their lives. In addition social workers should advocate the separated woman's needs in order to influence policy makers and decision makers, which in turn shall enact laws and implement policies which are in congruence with the same needs. This would lead to eradicate situations in which separated women are placed in a disadvantaged position, feeling compelled to conform with what traditionally is expected of them, while having no say upon the matter.
Description: B.A.(HONS)SOC.WORK
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 1997-2010
Dissertations - FacSoWSPSW - 1997-2008

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