This project compared the time that sole parents spend in paid work and in care of their children in Australia, the USA, Sweden and Finland. These countries were chosen for their contrasting policy approaches to the support of sole parents, and social expectations of how they should balance market work and childcare. Finland and Sweden have a long history of high female work force participation for both sole and married mothers. Absolute poverty rates of sole mothers and the income disparity between sole and couple families in these countries are low by world standards. In Australia and the United States income gaps are wider and sole mothers and their children have much higher poverty rates than other family types.This project brought together time use analysis (showing actual behaviour) and policy regime comparison.
Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs