A single mother is not in any way a lesser parent. Whether they’re unmarried, divorced or widowed, single mothers and their children are part of our society and deserve inclusion and support to meet their needs, no less than any other families.
We stand up for the cause of Single Mothers.
- Support and Empower Single Parents through our services and programmes
- Promote more Supportive and equitable policies toward single mothers
- Encourage more welcoming and inclusive attitudes towards Single mothers in Singapore
5 big challenges for single parents
Unmarried parents can only purchase HDB flats at age 35, and they are only eligible for subsidies on two-room flats in non-mature estates. Meanwhile, divorced parents are barred from renting from HDB for 30 months after selling the matrimonial flat, limiting their rental options to expensive open market flats. When they can again rent directly from HDB, they struggle to provide for their families while remaining under the highly restrictive $1,500 income ceiling.
Single parents are frequently sole breadwinners too. Many divorced parents with care and control of the children are women who left employment while married to meet the care needs of their families, sometimes negatively affecting their confidence and their skills. Returning to the job market is a challenge in a society where too many disregard caregiving as work experience and are suspicious of single parents.
The challenges of parenting are intensified when only one parent is consistently at hand for every trip to school, home-cooked meal or doctor’s visit. Finding reliable, affordable childcare is a major difficulty for single parents, but essential if they are to find and keep employment.
Struggling with employment, childcare and housing, many single parents find it hard to make ends meet, let alone build up savings or improve their family’s life chances. Divorced mother are particularly vulnerable, with little CPF or savings from years as married home-makers, and often face difficulty making repeated trips to court to enforce maintenance orders against defaulting ex-spouses.
Single parents have a tough job, which society makes harder by responding to them with prejudice and stereotypes. We deny their children equality in areas like the Baby Bonus cash gift and give them stigmatising labels like ‘illegitimate’ (which carries real disadvantages in terms of inheritance law and tax reliefs), sending the hostile message that they aren’t worth as much as others, and don’t belong.
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