Research Article

A Mother’s Woes: Implications of Gender-based Oppression on Single Motherhood

Cassandra S. Munsayac*, Allysa Joyce A. Zulueta, Ida Yeska I. Garcia, Jdam Ross D.R. Bardelosa, John Ruselle D. Mateo, Joseph A. Villarama


The gender-based oppression single mothers face, affecting their psychosocial well-being, is often overlooked, especially in the Philippines. This study investigates gender-based oppression, such as misogyny and sexism in workplaces and the personal lives of single mothers, and how these correlate and affect their motherhood. Three single mothers, selected through purposive sampling, were interviewed using semi-structured and open-ended questions. This study applied the feminist theory of Mary Wollstonecraft to understand the struggles of women based on gender extensively. The interviews were transcribed, and the data were coded and analyzed thematically, generating four recurring themes. Results revealed that misogyny and sexism are both rooted in patriarchy, exposing single mothers to the internalization of gender-based oppression, affecting how they view themselves. Prevailing stereotypes and gender roles ingrained into the sociocultural framework of the Philippines increased society's expectations toward single mothers because of gender. Results showed that despite challenges, the rise of feminist and women's rights groups and movements increased recognition of women in the workforce, as single mothers expressed the lack of discrimination in their workplaces. The difficulties single mothers experienced only emboldened them and promoted women's empowerment among themselves and others. Overall, the study found that single mothers are still struggling due to gender-based oppression, highlighting the need for greater support for single mothers. Misogyny and sexism exist due to patriarchy, establishing harmful roles for women. Thus, this study significantly contributes to discussions of gender discrimination and how to foster safe places for all genders, specifically single mothers in the Philippines.

Keywords: Single motherhood; Gender-based oppression; Sexism; Misogyny; Feminist theory

A Mother’s Woes: Implications of Gender-based Oppression on Single Motherhood

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