Mush are pleased to announce that we are joining forces with Single Parent Rights, the national campaign for equality for single parents.

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has highlighted the discrimination that single parents still face, being hit harder financially, practically, and emotionally by lockdown than two parent families and provided with no specific support to help them cope.

There are 2.9 million single parents in the UK, accounting for one in four parents. Around one third of parents experience some period of single parenting, some through choice via adoption or donor conception, but far more through often challenging circumstances. Despite almost 70% of single parents being employed,a third of children in working single parent homes live in poverty and almost 30% (double that of coupled parents) report mental health concerns. 

Single parents face discrimination throughout their daily lives, from the workplace to accessing housing. The Equality Act, 2010 outlaws discrimination towards certain groups who are deemed to have ‘protected characteristics’ including those who are married or in a civil partnership, however single parenthood is not included. This means that despite the challenges single parents face, invariably through no fault of their own, employers, businesses and policy makers aren’t encouraged to proactively consider how they treat single parents and where unfair treatment occurs, it cannot be legally challenged.

Ruth Talbot, a single parent to two young boys, who has been spearheading the campaign, had this to say: “We aren’t asking for special treatment, just equal treatment. Single parents regularly face discrimination, from the workplace to days out, yet it’s not considered discrimination because we aren’t a protected group in law like married couples. We are calling on the government to change this and make discrimination against single parents illegal.”

The campaign has recently launched a survey into single parents’ experiences of discrimination. The survey is the first of its kind in the UK to ask single parents to share their own stories and experiences of discrimination and the findings will be shared with MPs and the media. The survey can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/SingleParentDiscrimination     

To find out more about the campaign visit: http://www.ellamentalmama.com/single-parent-rights/

To show your support for single parents, sign the petition here: http://chng.it/FhdrG6bVp2