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Single parenthood difficult for women

Date Posted: 2004-06-04

A new study shows it is more complicated for a single mom to live in Okinawan society than a single dad. The 2003 survey of more than 4,684 single parent families reveals that 90% of the women have money problems. Equally a problem for single moms is finding quality employment. Some 57.6% of the women and 29.3% of the men responded to the survey.

“It’s the problem,” says one working mom. “…for me, money makes me worry about everything.” Okinawa’s divorce rate is high, and the single mother population is climbing compared to other prefectures.

Officials find that a single mother’s life is hard, largely because parttime pay is low, meaning the women cannot earn a decent living.

There is some support from the government. Single mothers receive ¥40,000 per child each month to help with support. Still, with 18.9% of the women unemployed, it’s not that much. And society is not supportive either. Many question why the women don’t try harder to get jobs.

The common answer is that the women are too old, or that they have no marketable work skills. Then too, Okinawa’s economy is not in the best of conditions, and jobs are fewer. And of course, the other problem is that taking care of the children limits when a mom is available to work.

For these women, having no money is ranked the most serious concern. Some 31.8% say they resort to taking out loans to survive. Fully one quarter of the women surveyed say simply raising kids alone is a difficult and stressful circumstance.

Single fathers find it a bit different. Typically, dads have jobs, and thus money. The reverse is that they have little time to spend with the kids. They see that as their primary problem, because they don’t know quite how to raise their kids alone.

More than 35.9% of single dads echoed the thought “it makes me worry about raising my children”. Single fathers say they don’t get the same financial assistance from the government as women do, and they also don’t have community support. Because a father can get a job, everyone thinks having enough money is easy.

As the number of single parent homes increases, women are becoming much more independent from their husbands. A survey shows that many women actually don’t mind living without their husbands. They say they want only their children.

The divorce rate increase is attributed to women having too much power in today’s society, with many women now having higher positions in companies.

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