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Monday, February 7, 2011

Debate on a European minimum income for single mothers

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News Many divorced women or widows and single mothers are struggling to raise their children. They have a higher risk of falling into poverty and exclusion is much higher than the rest of the population. Parliament is considering a European minimum income.

Italian MEP Barbara Matera (EPP) who will draft Parliament's report on the subject spoke of the exponentially growing number of mothers in poverty. She underlined importance of ending gender discrimination, ensuring responsibility of fathers and conditions for conciliating family and working life. The Chair of the Women's rights Committee, Swedish MEP Eva-Britt Svensson (GUE/NGL) said “societies and family set-ups are changing, so we need to take into account new family situations. My father died when I was a child and my mother succeeded in bringing us all up – 6 children – to the citizens that we have now become”. "Marriage and parenting are becoming disconnected" Rossana Trifiletti (Florence University, Italy) underlined the fact that the picture of lonely parenthood is very complex as people are often divorced, separated, non-married or widows. She said that lone parenthood was still seen as a deviation from the regarding classic model but if the potential of single parents was not used social and cultural capital would be wasted. Laura Alipranti, from the Centre for Social Research (EKKE), in Greece provided evidence that "marriage and parenting are becoming increasingly disconnected". She pointed out those extramarital births now account for 37% of the total in the European Union and in some Nordic countries that figure is nearly 50%. Father's should also be involved British MEP Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR) stressed that although 91% of single parents in EU are women, we should still use the notion of "lone parents". Laura Alipranti underlined that in Sweden 26% of single parents are men whilst Rossana Trifiletti told the Hearing that single fathers are also poorer than natural families.

Source :  Press room - European Parliament


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