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

What changes are needed to enable these women and their children to bounce back from tough times?

Despite some improvements in women’s social and economic status, the demands and undervaluing of care work, job market discrimination and the gender pay gap continue to affect many women’s economic security. 

But single mothers and their children have it the hardest. Research shows that 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 will investigate 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. It will also tease out the differential impacts on different types of single mother families.

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

Research team

Dina Bowman dbowman(at)

Seuwandi Wickramasinghe swickramasinghe(at)

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

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