UN New York, CSocD61 - The virtual event we are organizing as part of the 2023 UN Commission on Social Development will draw attention to the specificity of the situation of single parents, in particular single mothers, their vulnerability to poverty and the challenges they face to access decent work. Our event will also draw upon the experiences of grassroots organizations to put forward solutions and to call on governments to act. Read more below and join us.
Setting the scene:
Solutions from the ground:
Several successful actions of grassroots organisation across the world from MMM’s Network and beyond, will be presented, either via live presentations or short videos.
Solutions from governments
French interpretation will be provided.
Make Mothers Matter has long highlighted the inequitable distribution of unpaid family care work and how it prevents women, in particular when they are mothers, to access decent work and fully participate in the labour market, an issue which came under the spotlight during the Covid-19 crisis.
The situation is exacerbated for parents who raise their children alone, most of them mothers. Indeed, a single mother does not have much choice: she must assume full responsibility for both the unpaid work of running the house and raising children, and the necessary paid work to bring an income into the home.
Globally nearly 8% of all households are headed by a single parent, with 84% of them mothers. This represents 101.3 million single mothers, i.e. mothers living alone with their children – and these numbers are rising. However, an important diversity exists in their living arrangements: many do not live alone with their children but instead live in extended households, meaning that they are not counted – and mostly invisible to policy makers.
Between the challenge of juggling the unpaid work of raising children alone, the barriers they face in accessing decent work, and the exclusion and stigmatization from society, single mothers and their children are all too often over-represented among the poorest, with particularly dire consequences for the future of those children. In every country for which statistics exist and are comparable, i.e. mostly high and upper middle-income countries, single-mother households with young children have higher rates of poverty when compared to dual-parent households with young children.
Still, many grassroots organisations – in both developed and developing countries – have realized the magnitude of the problem and the importance of supporting and empowering single mothers and their children. Solutions and good practices exist, which may be transposed to other places and scaled-up. What’s more, these actions demonstrate that when single mothers receive adequate support, they represent an important economic force for development, both of their children and their community.
Governments have been slower to react, but some important steps have been taken, in particular in the European Union.
The 61st session of the UN Commission on Social Development (CSocD61) takes place 6-15 February 2023 in New York – this year’s priority theme: ‘Creating full and productive employment and decent work for all as a way of overcoming inequalities to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.
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