Welfare Program Dismisses Complexities of Single Motherhood

30 October 2018
Pro Bono has covered the new Good Shepherd report on the Welfare to Work program targeted at single mothers, ParentsNext, in  Outside Systems Control my Life. ERA gave comment on the importance of this research. Hannah Gissane, project-coordinator at Equality Rights Alliance, said it was important to understand the value of unpaid work, especially when women were being labelled unemployed, or underemployed.    Gissane said policy needed a more gender responsive approach, something that Good Shepherd also advocated for. “What that means, is understanding how many hours of unpaid work a week a single mother might be doing, and actually incorporating that into both policy and into the job services system so that there’s an understanding of that,” Gissane told Pro Bono News. “There’s a huge amount of unpaid work that is unaccounted for, and we are just pretending it’s not happening.” She said the report was timely, given the years of community advocacy on the issue, as well as the currently ongoing Parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of jobactive services. “Particularly in the community sector and across the community, people are saying that not only are these sorts of policy not achieving their aims but they’re actually making life more difficult.” Gissane said.