Proud Single Parents campaign targets stereotypes and stigma
OPFS has launched a new campaign to challenge the stereotypes and stigma still too often attached to single parenthood.
The “Proud Single Parents” campaign aims to challenge prejudice against single parents in the run up to the Scottish election and beyond.
Background to the campaign
Following the publication of research by GCPH, the Glasgow Lone Parent Development Project was set up to find practical solutions to lone parent poverty in Glasgow. As part of this project we have been consulting single parents across the city about the issues affecting their family lives. Childcare was identified as the biggest barrier to single parents accessing services and employment.
Another significant issue highlighted was the impact of stigma and negative attitudes. As a lot of media coverage relating to single parents focuses on the struggles and negatives, we have launched a social media campaign celebrating the diversity, and positive aspects of being a single parenthood.
Satwat Rehman, Director of OPFS said:
“We hope that by highlighting the continuing distortions of the debate about single parenthood we’ll also contribute to a more sensible conversation on the issues of poverty and welfare reform. Our research shows parents still feel stigmatised and stereotyped today, portrayed alternately as ‘scroungers’ or ‘bad mothers’ responsible for ‘broken families’. 83% say the media portray them in a negative light. They say these debates distort the public perception of who single parents are.
“Many people think very few single parents work – the real figure is 64%.
“We think that it’s likely that the ‘tough’ rhetoric around welfare reform has been driving these perceptions. Estimates of teenage pregnancy are also wildly out of line with reality – only 2% are teenagers. We’re campaigning on this because single parents are upset about the way they’re portrayed. Focusing on non-working parents distracts attention from tackling the fact that a third of working lone parents are still poor.”