According to a New York Times article, single mothers in America are a hot new commodity for employment. The reason behind this is obvious. A single mother is far more less likely to leave a job or speak up for their rights. This happens because single mothers are for more dependent on their earnings than married women.
However despite the capitalist class enjoying the benefits of exploiting single mothers, it is very hard for single mothers to work. The single greatest obstacle to employment for these women is affordable child care. Child care is expensive enough for two-parent families, the cost for a single mother is almost impossible.
When situations make it impossible for a single mother to work, the capitalist system seeks to punish these women. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has shown that single women receive much less access unemployment benefits. Most of this discrimination comes from involuntary job loss due to a lack of affordable child care. The single mother has to quit in order care for the child, thus she counts as having “voluntarily” quit her job.
This shows a very clear prejudice towards single mothers. This prejudice takes an ever more apparent form when one sees the Tea Party protesters (and other white supremacist, misogynistic organizations) rally against so-called “welfare” leaches. The hateful attacks they make on working class women is nothing short of disgusting. There is also nothing more right wing than attacking people being unemployed due to a lack of work.
In Canada, we once had a plan to create a Universal child care system. Basically child care would have been available to everyone. Unfortunately the Conservative Party killed it during its creation. Its clear from these actions that the capitalist system cannot solve this economic problem. Capitalism requires a cheap pool of labour in which to maximize profits. It is not in their interests to solve social problems.
Communism on the other hand does have such a solution. In the days of Revolutionary China Universal child care existed for everyone 24 hours a day. Everyone had access to child care so that women (especially single mothers) could play an active role in economic life. This also ended a woman’s need to rely on a man to get by financially.
The only solution to this human need is a system based on human need, not personal profit.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Unemployment Benefits Discrimination: