UNWED mothers and single mothers. Same same or different? There is actually a difference.
Unwed mothers = mothers who are not married and have children or single parent births where father’s name is not in the birth registration
Single mothers = mothers who are married and subsequently become a widow or divorcee.
Minister Tan Chuan-Jin had announced plans in Parliament that unwed parents would be given benefits that were previously not available to them like the 16 weeks Government paid maternity leave and the availability of the Child Development Account (CDA).
But first, the legislation needs to be amended and this most probably will happen for children born early next year.
Yay or nay?
I have nothing against unwed parents, the decisions they make, their family background and who I am to judge? There are so many considerations and aren’t we young once?
Singapore society recognises parenthood within marriage as the prevalent social norm and one which the local society values. This is not going change in the short run.
By extending the benefits to unwed mums, it is a move to show that G is rendering help to this group and not encouraging more unwed mums. The concern is whether such changes will lead to an increase in numbers, which I doubt so. Currently, cases of unwed mothers remain at around 500 cases yearly.
Another challenge will be housing policies. G will most likely not make any provisions for unwed mothers as the current policies are for the traditional nuclear family. Will there be a leftward shift?
Beyond G’s policies, salient differences still exist between mothers in traditional families and unwed mothers. Talk is cheap but making informed decisions, improving finances, family stability are important. Ultimately, the child’s future is at stake. How can they overcome the differences if they belong to the lower income families?
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