- Isabella Lenarduzzi

Child poverty is the poverty of mothers.

As #VivaForLife closes its doors I would like to share my disappointment in the realisation that if child poverty generates a buzz, no one (or almost no one) denounces the poverty of their mothers and the abandonment or irresponsibility of their fathers which is nevertheless the first factor of social fragility. In addition, there are governmental decisions that penalize women rather than men.

In Belgium and throughout Europe, 3/4 of the poor are women. And particularly, single women with children.

17% of European women are poor.

Almost 90% of single-parent families are female-headed.

2 out of 5 people do not pay or only partially pay their child maintenance. It is odd that the press does not put more emphasis in pointing out the cowardly and irresponsible behaviour of these … men. Not to mention all those who are not sanctioned to recognize their child or pay for them and who vanish into thin air.

It is not “politically correct” to talk about the cowardice of these men? They are not “all” like that? There are also women who do not assume? There are more and more responsible fathers? Of course. But women have been the ones to primarily assume their children for millennia. When a father is missing, the entire family wavers.

Tonight, I dine with my school girlfriends. The vast majority of us are divorced. And almost all of us have ex-husbands who do not financially or emotionally assume their children! Drinking problems, insolvency, relational inconstancy, and so on. And yet we come from an affluent environment.

Is it “wrong” to say that? Too bad. This is the reality for so many women and children.

If we had the courage to identify responsibilities rather than talk about the children who are paying the price, we could take the right measures and halt this intolerable situation.

But that does not detract from the incredible and generous mobilization of my friends of #VivaCité and the #RTBF.And a Happy New Year all the same!