Mother’s Day is bittersweet day at YW. Women who find their way to YW are often fleeing abuse, experiencing poverty, homelessness or isolation. Some have left their homes because they’re no longer safe and some have stayed because they know leaving could make things worse or will enter them into the cycle of poverty. The women we support are some of the fiercest mothers we know, they are warriors engaged in battles many of us hopefully never experience.
This week leading up to Mother’s Day, we chose to highlight facts and statistics that many may not know about mothers experiencing poverty, abuse or homelessness. It is important to remember that this day is not a celebration for all. It’s a day when some mothers will have to leave their children to simply try and make ends meet as they are trapped in low-wage or part-time employment. It’s also a day where some mothers will have to leave their homes because they are no longer safe.
We know that the face of poverty in Canada is a woman’s face and when women live in poverty so do their children. We know that in Alberta, gender related income gaps continue to exist and women working full time in this province earn approximately 68 cents for every dollar earned by a man making this the largest gap in Canada. Poverty is often multi-generational. Once you or your family is in the cycle of poverty, it’s very difficult to break out so poverty gets passed down from mother to child
We know that many mothers who are trapped in domestic abuse stay because they know leaving means they are five times more likely to be poor than if they had stayed. When your choice is living with abuse or living in poverty, can you really say you have a choice? Domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate, it exists at all income levels, in all areas of our city, at all ages and in all sexual orientations. When Calgary is seeing a year-after-year rise in domestic abuse, we know there is so much work to do.
So this Mother’s Day, as you celebrate the amazing women in your life, consider giving a gift to a vulnerable woman and her family. When you donate to YW, you are telling women and their families they matter, they are important and they deserve to feel safe.
Help break the cycle of poverty and abuse for future generations.