Monday, November 9, 2015

Report Reveal Mothers are Going Hungry to Feed Their Children

A recent report by the Fabian Commission on Food Poverty revealed the shocking truth that parents, particularly mothers, are skipping meals and going hungry in order to feed their children. 

The report says:

“The example of mothers skipping meals to feed their children raises the role of gender in poverty and household food insecurity. Research has shown that mothers in two parent households are more likely to manage squeezes to household budgets, and the costs of doing so. And because 90 per cent of single parents in the UK are women, women are also much more likely to manage household budget squeezes (and again, the costs of doing so) in single parent households. Women are also more likely to be more economically dependent in households than men, so tend to be at greater risk of falling into household food insecurity from relationships breaking down. Women are therefore at greater risk of household food insecurity than men, and are likely to suffer more acutely from the effects household food insecurity than men in the same household.” 

Jackie Patiniotis a Director from the Liverpool Women's Collective Voice told us

"In 2004, Ruth Lister, a professor of Social Policy, wrote in her book ‘Poverty’ that women are the ‘shock absorbers’ of poverty, in that they frequently go without meals so that the food available in the home would go to children, and in many cases, the men of the family.  This report by the Fabian Society Commission on Food and Poverty in the UK finds that parents, overwhelmingly mothers, are going hungry so that their children can eat, indicating that in 2015, women continue to be the ‘shock absorbers’ of poverty.  The Liverpool Women’s Collective Voice is greatly concerned about cuts to benefits, services, public sector jobs, and childcare, all of which disproportionately impact on women, as single mothers, carers, low paid workers and older women.  This is a shocking picture of the reality of many women’s lives today, and one which is generally overlooked as there are few assessments of the gendered impacts of ‘austerity’ measures,  budget cuts and poverty."
At The Women's Organisation we have seen all too often the impact of cuts to services on women with women facing redundancy, unemployment, lack of childcare provision etc. approaching us for support.  We agree totally with the Liverpool Women's Collective Voice that women are disproportionately effected by the impact of Government cuts and urge the government to take action to tackle this issue.  We need to build services to support the economic position of women so that they are not only able to put food on their table and provide for their families, but they can aspire to business leadership and management, and being role models for the next generation.  We need grassroots services that start to deal with the core issues effecting women as this report highlights, and to continue to tackle the issue of gender inequality on a wider scale so that the rate of change is faster than we can currently see. Please take a moment to look over the report.  Let us open our eyes to the truth around us.

Download the full report here. 

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