To tackle inequality we need to understand how issues like payment conditions and tax policies are connected and can trap single mothers in poverty.

What changes are needed to enable single mothers bounce back from tough times?

Despite some improvements in the overall social and economic status of women, there are still difficulties for single mothers. Demands on their time, the undervaluing of care work, job market discrimination and the gender pay gap continue to impact many.

Single mothers and their children have it the hardest among women. Research shows they experience higher rates of poverty than any other household type in Australia. These mothers face the dual role of primary earner and carer, often with inadequate finances and limited social support.

This study investigated how intersecting policies (such as income support, tax, child care and child support) affect the lives and financial circumstances of single mothers and their children.

The findings point to principles for policy reform to enable these women to build economic security.

Contact Seuwandi Wickramasinghe or Dina Bowman


Bowman, D & Wickramasinghe, S 2020, Trampolines not traps: enabling economic security for single mothers and their children (PDF, 738 KB)