On 25 October the European Parliament approved an own initiative report on the situation of single mothers, to which Eurochild contributed together with its member organisation One Family. The report outlines that in 2001 85% of single parents were women aged 25-65 and that these women are statistically less educated than married counterparts, face higher level of unemployed, are underpaid, as well as suffer bad health and increased level of stress due to their fragile situation. The issue is particularly important not only because a number of single parent households in Europe is constantly increasing, but also because they are almost three times more likely to be at risk of poverty and social exclusion than couples with children.
The own-initiative report calls on the EU Member Stated to support single mothers, by introducing, among others, “tax breaks and incentives to companies that provide training and on-site day care and nursery facilities”, providing education, training and housing support. Moreover, the report underlines the importance of quality, affordable childcare services, as well as necessity of a greater involvement of fathers.
During a discussion prior to the vote of the report, the rapporteur Barbara Matera (EPP, IT) said that “The report is full of excellent initiatives and new objectives that the EU should set itself, because this will become a central issue and one of Europe’s priorities, considering that the number of single mothers is growing”.