Photo: Fhel Miranda, a single parent from the Philippines, with her daughter Anne
This post was written by Mary Joyce. Thank you Joyce for showing us what it’s like for single parents in the Philippines, and advocating for better rights for them! To contribute your own post, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Did you know that nearly 40% of children in the Philippines have only one parent? It’s a serious problem here, and it happens because many unmarried couples have babies without intending to.
And as you might already know, single parents are discriminated against heavily. And in some countries, like in Singapore, single parents don’t get subsidies for housing or even the baby bonus that regular parents are entitled to.
Photo: Anne (left) with her mother Fhel (right)
On top of that, single parents face a huge stigma for the ONE big mistake they made in their lives. They are judged and looked down on.
My opinion might be an unpopular one, but hear me out. I personally don’t think it’s fair for single parents to go through so much discrimination or to lack the rights regular parents have.
I understand that single parents made a mistake and that they have to face the consequences of their actions.
But if you look at it closely, you’ll realise many single parents are women who are strong enough to accept their mistake and take on the challenge of raising their baby, even if it means their boyfriend decides to abandon them.
Many women who choose this path are brave and are taking a huge risk, because they have to raise their child alone and do the work of two people with only half the funds. So we should be supporting them, not shunning them.
I’m proud of my Filipino government and the city mayors who decided to give single parents a solo parent ID which lets them have more paid leave, a flexible work schedule, and even 20% discounts at some eateries.
I think it speaks volumes that the government even decided to help single parents in the first place. And the move by the government has made it easier for all of us to transition into a culture where we are more understanding and forgiving of people’s mistakes.
However, people might still argue that the problem is only going to worsen if we give perks to single parents.
But I look at it this way. Nobody WANTS for their relationship to fail when they discover they are having a baby by accident. Everybody wants a happy relationship and a family that lasts.
So if people end up being a single parent, it is already a huge blow to them and they are already paying for their mistakes. So the least we could do is help them a little.
We ALL make mistakes in life. So if we could all be a little more constructive towards people instead of tearing them down, the world would be a much better place.