Tuesday 27 September 2016

Our country is no place for single women raising children

Published 10/12/2012 | 05:00

• For women parenting alone, Ireland is a dangerous place. We are vulnerable because, like children and the disabled, we do not have the resources to fight back. Our energies are channelled into raising our children.

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Parenting alone is exhausting. The hours are long and there are no breaks. Long hours and little sleep do not make for dynamic personalities. Our health takes a beating and self-confidence is low.

Exhaustion and sleep deprivation have been the tools of torture used by those in charge of prisoners to break the spirit. We are berated for not working by a government that makes it impossible for us to work. Damned if we do and damned if we don't.

It is reminiscent of the church that punished unmarried girls for having babies and for not having the babies. They were sinners if they had the child and sinners if they didn't have the child.

From the pulpit they denounced abortion yet their treatment of and stigmatising of unmarried mothers is what drove lots of pregnant girls on to the boat.

Common sense dictates that for any mother to work outside of the home, supports in the form of spousal/partner co-operation and cost-effective childcare is essential.

There remains on this island of ours widespread corruption and greed. Worse than that is the tolerance our so-called managers have for such practices.

This can be seen by their not punishing the culprits and their failure to protect the most vulnerable groups in our society.

F Byrne
Tullamore, Co Offaly

Irish Independent

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