Change needed for mums
A report highlighting the barriers some single mothers face returning to work and navigating the benefit system shows the need for the Government welfare overhaul that has already begun, says Hon Julie Anne Genter, Minister for Women.
The Ministry of Women has today released their report Something’s got to change, based on interviews with 40 low-income mothers in Whangārei, South Auckland and Gisborne.
The report found that having a baby was a major incentive for mothers to get into training, education or work, but many women faced too many unnecessary barriers.
“It is not only kind to support single mums, who are doing their best to raise their children, it also makes sense for the Government to make it easier for these women to get the support they need to be great parents,” Ms Genter says.
The report found that
• mothers universally wanted to make a better life for their children
• mothers struggled financially which was a constant source of stress
• mothers dealt with physical and/or mental health concerns
• mothers’ experience with government services were often difficult and challenging.
“The findings show the Government can do more for women on benefits, ensuring women are getting what they deserve and assisting with transitions to gain skills or employment, if they choose to.
“Investing in mothers, especially when they are the only adult and income earners within families, is how we address child poverty. Improving the economic independence of these women brings benefits to them, their families and broader society.
“The experience of the mothers in this study demonstrates the need for the overhaul of the welfare system, and I’ll pass it to the Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.
“This Government aims to make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. And this means backing their parents to provide for them in the best possible way,” Ms Genter says.
For more information, see the Somethings got to change booklet and accompanying literature review.