Last updated: 21/02/2020
Campaign to challenge the stereotypes and stigma that are still too often attached to single parenthood. It aims to challenge prejudice against single parents.
- Satwat Rehman, Director of OPFS
Background to campaign
Following the publication of research by GCPH, the Glasgow Lone Parent Development Project was set up to find practical solutions to lone parent poverty in Glasgow. As part of this project we have been consulting single parents across the city about the issues affecting their family lives. Childcare was identified as the biggest barrier to single parents accessing services and employment.
Another significant issue highlighted was the impact of stigma and negative attitudes. As a lot of media coverage relating to single parents focuses on the struggles and negatives, we have launched a social media campaign celebrating the diversity, and positive aspects of being a single parenthood.
Satwat Rehman, Director of OPFS said:
“We hope that by highlighting the continuing distortions of the debate about single parenthood we’ll also contribute to a more sensible conversation on the issues of poverty and welfare reform. Our research shows parents still feel stigmatised and stereotyped today, portrayed alternately as ‘scroungers’ or ‘bad mothers’ responsible for ‘broken families’. 83% say the media portray them in a negative light. They say these debates distort the public perception of who single parents are.
“Many people think very few single parents work – the real figure is 64%.
“We think that it’s likely that the ‘tough’ rhetoric around welfare reform has been driving these perceptions. Estimates of teenage pregnancy are also wildly out of line with reality – only 2% are teenagers. We’re campaigning on this because single parents are upset about the way they’re portrayed. Focusing on non-working parents distracts attention from tackling the fact that a third of working lone parents are still poor.”
Single Parents/Family/Friends: Use the #ProudSingleParents hashtag and tell us what makes you proud to be a single parent, or proud of a single parent you know. It could include a quote or a picture made by your child that brightened up your day.
You can use @ to mention OPFS and other organisations that have supported you and your family (e.g. @OPFS).
Professionals and organisations: Use the #ProudSingleParents hashtag to acknowledge the amazing job that all single parents are doing and something that your organisation can offer single parents. You could be really ambitious and pledge something that your organisation could do to become even more single parent friendly.