UN Report: 13 Million Single Mothers Head Households In India

The UN Women report puts the figure of lone mother households in India at 13 million. Another 32 million are estimated to be living in extended households.

Ria Das
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Single mothers report

A recent report released by the United Nations (UN) Women reveals that 4.5% single mothers (approximately 13 million) run Indian households. The report is titled 'Progress of the World's Women 2019-2020', is a detailed analysis of the relationship between diverse family structures and women's choices.


The main aim of the report was to ensure that households maintain equality and are not be corrupted by discrimination. The long term plan is to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) of all nations and developing nations in particular.

The report claims that in India, while 46.7% of families are couples living with their children, more than 31% live in extended families while single-person families account for 12.5%.

“In India, the poverty rate of lone mother households are 38% in comparison to 22.6% for dual-parent households,” the report said, TOI reported. “Marriage and motherhood affect women’s labour force participation and income. In India, based on data from 2012, 29.1% of all women aged 25-54 years are in the labour force, compared to 97.8% for men of the same age. The report also draws attention to the needs of the growing elderly population,” it added.

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“Women, on average, live longer than men in all regions and countries. At the global level, men’s life expectancy is projected to be lower than that of women by 4.6 years during 2015-2020, it said pointing out the need to focus on senior women. The report offers many solutions like family-friendly policies, including cash transfers, healthcare, and care services for children and older people,” it claimed.

Anita Bhatia, deputy director of UN Women, deputy executive director said, “While some progress is evident within the Asia-Pacific region, women and girls continue to be discriminated against and their contributions undervalued. Governments must renew their commitment to gender equality by identifying clear priorities and actions with set time-lines and resources, in line with the 2030 agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.”

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