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A woman is defined as single mother if:
- She is a widow and ready to continue as well as pursue the responsibility in raising her children.
- A divorced woman and was given custody on her children
- Woman and her children who are neglected and not supported by her husband in terms of financial
- Woman that are in the process of getting divorce ( which might take a longer time )
- Husband who is ill and unable to provide maintenance and require constant care
- Woman who are raising other children without the help of her husband
Effect as a ‘single mother’ on her
No woman will appreciate such a title. Thus the status of a single mother indirectly gives a great challenge in life till it changes one life dramatically either economically, socially, psychologically compare to last time.
Challenges Faced By a Single Mother
- Economic Challenges
The main challenge that a woman face as a single mother are issues related to economy. For a housewife who became a single mother it’s not that easy for them to find a suitable job for them. The atmosphere is further complicated for a single mothers who are not educated. Although they may settle down with a decent job, the next issue will be ‘child care’ while they are away to work.
- Social Challenges
Due to financial constraints and no steady source of income there are also cases where this group of single mothers will lead to some social problems. Those who involve in social problem are woman with low self-esteem, lack of spiritual understanding and no proper coping skills. Many engage with social crimes such as prostitution, drug addiction and crime of theft simply to raise their children.
Single parent should be exposed to the application procedures of low-cost housing schemes provided by the government and also various aid given by the government and private sectors. One of the social assistance is provision of knowledge, training and skills to enable single mothers to start their business and be independent.
- Psychology Challenges
Negative response in line with the title of a single mother can cause psychological stress. This group is often not a choice of an employers as their responsibilities might interfere with their work.
A woman who lost her husband and her source of dependent will be disturbed physically and mentally. They have to rely on themselves on the absence of her husband as the main source of income. Stigma imposed on them by society will create more harm.
- Challenges in dealing with court
For a single parent they have to face problems in dealing with court due to their divorce. Treated unfairly and it will take quite long time to settle the case. Majority of single mothers face problems with their ex-husband that are not willing to co-operate especially in terms of financial aid for his children which is his responsibility.
- Effect to children
Children raised by a single parent will never get sufficient of love especially a father’s love. Lack of affection can also interfere with children’s personality development. At times this child will bottle up her or his feeling rather then express it as fear of hurting his or her mother’s feeling.
- Effect to social
Single mothers in the eye of public also differ either they have positive perception or negative perception. There are a handful of single mothers who can develop themselves and rise from the fall. They are recognized as a successful single mother who manage to upgrade themselves. Single mothers are also consider to be a threat to other women and also husband and wife couples which leads to negative perception.
Aid For Single Mothers
Financial assistance scheme for single mothers is a scheme provided by Social Welfare Department (SWD).
Types of aid available in SWD
- Monthly Assistance – General Assistance
- Children help maintenance
- Adopted children aid
- Overall aid – Launching grant
- Fabrication tools help / support
- Education and skills training grants
- Educational help for school going children
- Counselling services
- Charity aid
Apart from SWD there are also assistance from other departments. In addition, certain third parties, such as corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provides scheme and loans.
Other corporations that can be a source of help to this single mothers is :
- Yayasan Tekun Nasional (TEKUN)
- Amanah Ikthiar Malaysia (AIM)
- Program e-Kasih
- Majlis Amanah Rakyat MARA
Efforts made to develop the potential of women
- Strenghten the Women’s Affair Unit (HAWA) as an engine of policy development
- Enhance policies and actions of government agencies in order start planning, implementation and monitoring adapted women integrated programs.
- Education and training for government administration on women’s issues
- Involvement of non-governmental bodies
- Eradicate poverty and take firm actions
- Promote and coordinate research on women’s issues
- Allocation in budget
Obviously life for single mothers is very challenging in terms of economic, social, psychological, relationship with community. There are some single mothers who are capable to rebuild their life from the challenges they have faced. In addition, the aid scheme that has been given to this group can lighten the stress they have to carry after the lost of their partner. For a business minded single mothers it will be an advantage as they can use it to upgrade themselves as well as their family. There are number of single mothers who had proved their life was successful when venturing into business. Community plays an important role and get rid of their negative perception in order for single mothers to survive together with their children.
- Akta keganasan rumah tangga 1994 (akta 521)
- Hussin, S. @ Omar, C.Z (2002) Masalah Remaja Daripada Keluarga Ibu Tunggal, Kuala Lumpur: Karisma Publication Sdn. Bhd
- Rohaya Roddin 2012, Pendekatan Model baru Pembangunan Usahawan Wanita Luar Bandar bagi tujuan pembasmian kemiskinan, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia
|Last Reviewed||:||1 March 2017|
|Writer||:||Hairuni binti Kasuagi|
|Translator||:||Hema Nair a/p Suppariam|
|Accreditor||:||Tn Hj Hairol Kamal bin Abd Rahman|