Women Like Us Foundation supports women’s leadership for Gender Equality and Social Justice in the areas of Sex Trafficking, Homelessness and Education. It is the purpose of our blogs to create awareness of the work of women and the impact they are making on the world.
Why is it so imperative for our nation as a whole to educate the female? More specifically, why is it critical for our nation to focus on education for our single mothers?
A single mother household is not a rarity in the contemporary American culture, but has become quite a norm for our American families. However, not only are single mothers financially struggling against the nation’s wage earning gender discrepancy, but single mothers are also faced with the challenge of adequately dividing their time and priorities between quality child-rearing, while also maintaining consistent employment in our competitive American work force.
Unfortunately, the statistics reveal the reality in the difficult hardships that single mothers face. According to Karen Kramer, a U of I assistant professor of family studies, “Single mothers earn about two-thirds of what single father’s earn.” (…) “Single mothers are far more likely to live in poverty than single fathers, and they do not catch up over time.” (…) “In 2012, 28 percent of all U.S. children lived with one parent. Of that number, 4.24 million single mothers lived below the poverty line compared to 404,000 single fathers” (Picklesimer). In an article discussing the link between single mothers and poverty, the Washington Post points out, “Poverty, meanwhile, touches an astounding 45 percent of children who live without a father” (Badger). As a result, our children, our future generation living in homes of poverty do not have comparable means to obtain the same quality, high-level education; many do not have access to the adequate and significant mentorship they need and deserve! These struggles not only impact the lives of the single mothers, but also have a rippling effect on the children and the community!
How do we address this national problem? And, what can we actively do to effectively support our single mothers? By investing in the education of our female population, we are investing in the growth of our nation as a whole. Individuals and communities benefit socially, financially and culturally when single mothers are supported in their educational pursuits. As Kramer suggests, “We need to encourage women to invest in education. And, as policymakers, we need to make sure that women and men get the same return on that investment” (Picklesimer). Education combined with equal gender wages will not only raise the nation’s poverty levels, it will give the children (of the single mother household) the opportunities and ability to pursue their own educational aspirations! An article from the Center for American Progress effectively states, “By extending ladders of opportunity to single mothers and their families, we can make a dent in child poverty, educate and equip children for tomorrow’s workforce, and increase our economic competitiveness” (Wright). To educate our single mother is to empower our society as a whole!
The Women Like Us Foundation supports causes locally and globally, encouraging and facilitating the efforts in female education.
ONE GIRL AT A TIME PROGRAM (Indianapolis, Indiana & Los Angeles, California)- The Women Like Us Foundation currently has two female, youth educational program initiatives (located in Indianapolis, Indiana and Los Angeles, California). Both are growing and developing with over 1000 girls impacted over the past 5 years.
The One Girl at a Time Program is educating teen girls to live their best life through mentoring and empowerment workshops, providing tools necessary for young girls to become Women Like Us. Girls learn life skills, their value to society, their communities, and the world. By supporting healthy self-esteem, promoting education, and providing multifaceted guidance, girls learn about themselves, acquire the tools necessary for success in all aspects of life, and start the journey on becoming the best they can be.
To learn more about how you can get involved, visit our website at www.womenlikeusfoundation.org
Badger, Emily. “The Relationship between Single Mothers and Poverty Is Not as Simple as It Seems.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 July 2016.
Picklesimer, Phyllis. “Single Mothers Much More Likely to Live in Poverty than Single Fathers, Study Finds.” (2015): n. pag. :: College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 20 July 2016.
Wright, Katie. “5 Things to Know About Single Mothers in Poverty.” Center for American Progress. N.p., 11 May 2012. Web. 20 July 2016.
Written By: Sommer K. Bannan