Skopje, 15 July 2020 (MIA) — The One Can! organization for the protection of human rights of single-parent families is asking for help from all state agencies regarding the care of children — mostly of single working mothers — who don’t have access to daycare or grandparents to look after them.
Primarily addressing the government, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, and the COVID-19 crisis headquarters, One Can!’s public letter says that single working mothers are vulnerable and sometimes discriminated against even by their parents. Thus, some mothers have no parental support, whereas some don’t even have parents, the letter notes.
In addition, the letter continues, the elderly are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, and shouldn’t be around small children.
“We have no alternative regarding childcare,” the letter says, “considering preschools and child daycare centers are closed this summer.
“Despite this, we need to go to work, because as single-parent families, our paychecks are our only source of income.”
One Can! is asking the government to understand and empathize with single parents by issuing a similar decree to the one it adopted to exempt parents of preschoolers from going back to the workplace.
“Different countries are implementing different measures,” the grassroots organization’s president Doroti Pachkova is cited in the letter, “but single parents are most often offered monetary support, help with housing or the rent […] shorter working hours with no pay cuts, the option to work from home, health insurance regardless of their employment status, and payment of their utility bills.”
One Can! has drawn attention to the country’s unfavorable environment for single working mothers for years, but the situation has become even more dire during the COVID-19 crisis, Pachkova points out.
Many women have lost their jobs, she says, adding that despite the organization’s support through donations, legal advice, psychiatric help “which is sorely needed by all of us,” representation and lobbying for them, these members of society are yet to be heard and included in the government support measures.
Pachkova, who’s a gender scholar, notes that each single-parent family should be given the choice between taking paid leave or hiring a single caregiver whose salary would be paid by the state.
This would help working mothers continue to provide for their children as well as create more jobs, according to One Can!’s president. mr/