Single mothers must get more help, especially with economies so fragile today, says a recommendation from the European Parliament. It comes in a report pointing out the increase in single parent families, hand in hand with divorce, separation and never having been married. The risk of social exclusion is high.
So the parliament proposes single mothers have waiting list priority for housing, tax breaks and education and training provided through the European Social Fund and government financing. It noted that throughout Europe they are less educated than their married counterparts.
In 85 percent of one-parent households it is a woman, 25-64 years old. One of the things making it hard is the gender pay gap. Women earn around 20 percent less than men, on average in the European Union.
Barbara Matera, the MEP who wrote the report found that far too little consideration is being given to women who, in many cases, must struggle to manage on their own.
Matera said: “Isolated women are not a priority for European politicians, and the figures are rising alarmingly. Therefore the EU absolutely has to concentrate on initiatives that will give these women practical support.”
Caroline Bombassei de Vettor, the Secretary General of the World Movement of Mothers, supports the non-binding resolution. She notes low birth rates as well.
Bombassei de Vettor said: “We have to realise that, whatever kind of job a mother has, this person plays a strong connective role in society. She also plays a role in the Europe of tomorrow. She works on solving the crucial demographic problem Europe is going through.”
The resolution also urges governments to ensure that child support from non-custodial parents is paid regularly and that all actions helping single mothers will apply to single fathers as well.