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Cyprus

State pledges to look at problems of divorced women

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou

THE government has promised to take a closer look at the problems – primarily financial – facing divorced women.

Accompanied by Law Commissioner Leda Koursoumba, a delegation from the divorced women’s association yesterday met justice minister Ionas Nicolaou.

Speaking to reporters later, the minister said they discussed a number issues of concern to divorced women.

A key problem women face is that they risk losing their home simply because they guaranteed the loans of men they have since divorced.

The women have long been asking for a law that will ban banks from confiscating women’s properties in exchange for their ex husbands’ debts, while they are also seeking a return of all those that have already been confiscated or compensation from the government for those lost.

In many cases, women are psychologically coerced into guaranteeing their ex-husbands’ loans, the minister said.

Nicolaou said the Law Commissioner would be preparing a report taking stock of women who feel hard done by the law.

The divorced women want the government to take action now, because such debt burdens have worsened since the financial crisis.

Their association has previously held hunger strikes to drive their point home.

The justice minister said also that, in collaboration with the Law Commissioner, his ministry would be drafting a bill proposing changes to pension benefits to widows.

The current norm is for the entire pension to go to the woman who was most recently wedded to a deceased husband. This leaves a divorcee, who may have lived with the deceased longer than his latest spouse, with nothing.

New legislation would propose that a widow’s pension be allocated between the multiple spouses.

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