Cyprus Mail

Single parent families stage protest over lack of support

A life size doll lies on the floor after having been thrown off a nearby building

Members of the association of single-parent families staged a protest on Saturday at the Ayios Nicolaos roundabout in Limassol, holding placards and symbolically throwing adult-sized dolls off an adjacent rooftop.

The association demanded increased financial support from the state.

“The situation we live in is tragic,” association chairwoman Argendoulla Ioannou said.

“Through our protest, single parents wanted to express their despair at the conditions of poverty forced upon us by the lack of any government support and the inability of the Guaranteed Minimum Income scheme to meet the needs of single-parent families.”

Ioannou added that the state must urgently respond positively by supporting these families, as well as by amending the criteria for GMI eligibility.

“The Social Services’ role with regard to the needs of single-parent families has essentially been abolished, and there is a general absence of any policies to support them, with regard to employment needs, children’s needs, and daily living needs,” she said.

The association also demands the immediate payment of unpaid alimony, the creation of a special desk at Social Services, the restoration of social welfare payments, the adoption of employment and training programmes for single parents, free daycare services for the children of single parents, and the resumption of free legal aid for family court disputes.

In a brochure handed out to drivers, the association also demanded the “immediate implementation of the Strategic Equality Plan for vulnerable women’s groups, the implementation of measures protecting single parents and their children from home foreclosures, and the adoption of housing policies for single-parent families”.

Green party leader Yiorgos Perdikis, as well as MPs and opposition party representatives attended the protest.

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