In 1984, an American woman named Janice Moglen collaborated with the group Mom and dad Without having Companions and petitioned to have US states declare their recognition of ‘Single Parent Day’.

She picked 21 March as it coincides with the inception of Moms and dads Without Companions, which began on March 21, 1957 and before long President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5166, declaring March 21, 1984, as Nationwide Single Guardian Working day. 

The day aims to honour the mothers and fathers holding down the fort with all the challenging do the job and sacrifices associated in increasing youngsters by yourself.

Even though South Africa would not recognise the working day, it genuinely must. 

In 2019 the Human Sciences Study Council (HSRC) and the South African Race Relations Institute (SARRI) found that 60% of South African young children have absent fathers and extra than 40% of South African mothers are one moms and dads.

This, when when compared with 25% in the US and a created earth ordinary of just 15%, is concerning. 

In accordance to StatsSA, in 2018 lots of younger little ones (46%) lived with only their organic mom, and 2% lived with their organic father only.  They also reported in 2020 that 71% of youngsters from feminine-headed households had been multidimensionally very poor when compared to 53,6% from male-headed homes. 

Why is this important?

Solitary parenthood is problematic, mainly because it puts each psychological and fiscal pressure on one dad and mom and their young children.  

Stories present that South African women of all ages gain an common of 28 for each cent a lot less than adult males, which is partly induce for the disproportionate ranges of poverty in female-led homes.

Almost 30 for each cent of working-age girls are unemployed, in contrast to 25 per cent of adult men, and girls are also much more possible to work in informal, unregulated sectors or do unpaid function. 

Girls are also vulnerable to domestic abuse, sexual assault, unwanted pregnancy and HIV, all of which can prevent women from supporting themselves and their family members.

Knock on effect 

On top of that, children who improve up in fatherless households are at increased danger of psychological challenges.

Investigate shows that boys who expand up with absent fathers are additional most likely to display screen aggression and other hyper-masculine behaviors, which improves their danger for harmful associations, criminal offense, signing up for gangs, dropping out of faculty and addiction.

Fatherless ladies are additional probable to engage in large-possibility sexual behaviors, working experience an unwanted pregnancy or obtain on their own in an abusive relationship.

Without intervention, these little ones mature up and carry on the cycle.  

Also read through: Unmarried parent? Know your rights 

How to aid?

Addressing these concerns requirements to commence with federal government implementing national guidelines as a priority to be certain a much better daily life and chances for one mother and father and little ones from solitary mother or father homes.  

But nearer to home, give support to the one mom and dad in your lifestyle. Fall off a food, assist with the university run and supply a risk-free shoulder to lean on. 

And if you would like to assistance, Rushka Lee Pedro, a Household Legislation Mediator and Lifetime Mentor, suggests there is truth in the indicating “it can take a village to elevate a child”.

So please aid a single guardian that you know, “your assistance goes a lengthy way all you have to do is check with,” she stresses. 


Rushka is also a ‘Single-Mother-Struggle-Survivor’. She shared her expertise of bringing up her youngsters alone, with Parent24.

“I know first hand what it is like waking up in the middle of the night time to a screaming, crying, hysterical child, though you have the flu and you have a maintenance courtroom visual appeal at 8am the following early morning, and you really do not have more than enough income for health professionals due to the fact you can not find the money for medical help,” she says.

“The battle is over and above debilitating and it’s very real. With constrained resources, funds and self-value, I was a single mom with a court docket struggle of observe with two youthful children,” she adds, likely on to clarify that her rock base second came when she could not afford a birthday cake for her 6 12 months previous daughter.

“We experienced some leftover cupcakes that we had baked and a bar of chocolate in the cupboard. I manufactured a cake pop, melted the chocolate, drizzled it around and stuck just one one candle in the centre and that was her birthday cake,” she tells us.

“I advised the story to a friend of mine yrs afterwards, describing that as my cheapest stage of one motherhood and his reaction was: ‘It’s your individual fault, why didn’t you just inquire me for income?'” 

There had been many explanations, Rushka says, 1 of which was that “rock bottom is rock bottom. The assumed of inquiring anyone for R50 to obtain your daughter a cake for her birthday was intestine wrenching,” she describes.

Painful, to say the the very least

And this is the turmoil that many one moms and dads go via each individual single working day.

“Likely to the shop and only obtaining enough funds for a loaf of bread, a couple of tins of baked beans, a little packet of rice and a several bananas was a typical prevalence for several years,” she reveals.

She describes how she would go to household and close friends and try to keep there extended plenty of, praying that they will present for her and her children to continue to be for dinner, so they could have a good meal rather of bread or two-moment noodles.

“Likely to the school’s second-hand store to obtain college uniform that was in relatively fantastic issue, and becoming in the university charges exemption line yr following yr… it was painful, to say the minimum,” Rushka states.

Very pleased moments 

“But having stated all that, there ended up times where by I could not have been prouder to be a mom! Viewing my little ones at the college live performance undertaking on stage, or having them named up to take several awards for teachers, swimming and netball. Individuals had been unquestionably ‘Proud Mama Times!’,” she adds.

And, without the need of the struggle, she says she would not be the individual she is currently: established to assist other single parents in the local community. 

Ruska claims she was powerful-minded and resilient in her initiatives. “I was heading to prevail over this and I was likely to conquer regardless of what demons I had within. Having said that, it starts from inside… it begins from possessing your scenario, forgiving oneself and producing amends with scars,” she describes.

She adds, “Self-love is some thing that little ones can only study from you – kids find out what they are near to, and that is you! Self-acceptance, self-treatment and self-adore for your children commences with you as a father or mother, and if you are a single dad or mum its double the reward.” 

Her suggestions to other solitary mother and father is to “look at what you say, enjoy what you do and be aware of your actions and do what’s essential and which is to show them: appreciate, by demonstrating on your own enjoy first.”  

She prov
ides, “To all people single moms and dads out there I applaud you and I wish you almost nothing but the very best for your future. You have bought what it requires, you are a solitary mum or dad straighten your crown and get to it!”  

Discover guidance

Rushka will be web hosting a Solitary Mother and father party in Johannesburg on Saturday 20 March 2021. She will contact on how to survive one parenthood and there will be talks on (reasonably priced) balanced patterns, the great importance of exercise, common to start with aid, showcasing self-defence manoeuvres and money issues (debt counselling and the significance of quick and prolonged term insurance policies). Locate out a lot more below

If you are a single father or mother or also feel that South Africa should really mark the working day, let us know!


Share your tales and concerns with us by means of electronic mail at [email protected]. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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