UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - MMM contributed to the discussion on the right to adequate housing by highlighting the economic hardships of single mothers, the difficulties and discriminations they face in accessing adequate housing and their vulnerability to homelessness.
According to UN habitat, 1.6 billion people worldwide live in inadequate housing conditions globally, with about 15 million forcefully evicted every year, and those numbers keep rising. This alarming situation was highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing as she presented her Guidelines for the Implementation of the Right to Adequate Housing to the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council.
The following is MMM’s contribution to the discussion that followed.
MMM Oral Statement at the Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing
MMM welcomes the guidelines. We agree that the right to housing is central to women’s rights to substantive equality. However, we believe gender equality and women’s economic empowerment can also greatly contribute to its realization.
We draw attention to the economic hardships faced by single mothers, which, combined with other intersectional discriminations [in accessing housing], notably race and migratory status, puts them at risk of homelessness – a situation which can quickly spiral down with dire consequences for their children.
According to recent statistics1,
[These numbers are likely to be underestimated given the hidden homelessness that prevails among women with children.]
Limited income and intersectional discrimination make it almost impossible to access adequate and affordable housing – especially since child or housing allowances [that single mothers may receive] are usually not considered as “income”.
Even when they have enough personal income, single mothers are perceived as risky tenants and often face discrimination. The same applies when they seek access to credit.
We, therefore, call upon governments to urgently address the root causes of women’s vulnerability to poverty and homelessness, including domestic violence and gender inequality.
We call for measures that support [the right to adequate housing for] single mothers and their children, including [anti-discrimination legislation,] a social protection floor that guarantees a minimum income, and the development of public infrastructure and services that reduces and redistributes unpaid care work.
 See sources and references in the written Statement that Make Mothers Matter submitted to the 58th UN Commission on Social Development
UN New York / HLPF - Register now to join us virtually at this year’s High Level Political Forum side-event.
UN New York / HLPF - A look back at our side-event to the UN High Level Political Forum
The ongoing conflict and resulting humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on the mental and physical health of mothers and their children, on both those who have fled and those who have sta
International Labour conference, Geneva – To redress the economic injustice suffered by many mothers as a result of their caring responsibilities, MMM has called for a new approach to employment: a human-cent
In these unprecedented times, when Europe is navigating a global pandemic, when political tensions are boiling over threatening to destabilize the global order, it is vital to reflect on the people who hold the
MMM is delighted to publish a report written by Emma Levrau, a student in Global Health and Social Justice (Master of Science) at Kings College London on the unpaid and invisible cognitive and emotional work th
Our contribution to the EU Commission's Call for evidence: “Access to affordable and high-quality long-term care” The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to strengthen the European care economy. To e