Lone mothers in focus for Youth Plan Action Day

17/05/2017

Single mother with her child

PES Women will join the PES Youth Plan Action Day campaign this Friday, with a particular focus on the Child Guarantee and providing support to single mothers.

The Child Guarantee is one of the four pillars of the Party of European Socialists’ Youth Plan, seeking to allow Europe’s children to benefit from free healthcare and education, quality childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. One major element of this is ensuring that single mother families – which outnumber single father families by five to one – receive the support and help they need from society to combat the heightened risk of poverty and social exclusion for both parent and child.

Research from across the academic spectrum indicates that lone motherhood is frequently correlated with poor health, stress, joblessness, poverty, social exclusion, and difficulties in reconciling work and family commitments. The problem has intensified in recent years, where the increasing emphasis on austerity politics in many European countries has led to many families relying on a dual income from both parents – meaning that, in turn, lone mother families fall further behind.

That’s why PES Women is determined to focus on the Child Guarantee as a mean to help especially on lone mothers as part of the Youth Plan Action Day this Friday 19 May. With the slogan Put yourself in her shoes – PES Women underlines the many responsibilities of single mothers as carers, breadwinners and more.

One key priority is to help single mothers better to balance work and family commitments. This is one area where the European Union can help – and, indeed, where some important steps have already been taken. Employment law and workers’ rights are harmonised across the 28 EU member states, not only to guarantee a level playing field in the single market but also to promote strong social welfare and fight the risk of poverty.

The European Commission recently published its initial proposals for a European Pillar of Social Rights, with a welcome proposal on parental leave. But we believe this package on work-life-balance must be more ambitious, developing legislative proposals for maternity, paternity, parental and care leave. Our aim must be to create a more social Europe - as described in the PES declaration ‘A Progressive Vision for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights in Europe’.

To get involved in our campaign:

View the PES Presidency statement supporting the Youth Plan