This book is the first study with feminist analysis on lone mothers’ economic dependency in Hong Kong. The implications of this study are considerable; it challenges both conventional thinking about families and the political and academic debates about social policy. This book sets out to examine the relationship between social security benefits and lone mothers’ labour supply in Hong Kong. Two particular aspects of the labour supply behaviour of lone mothers are explored: firstly, the possible effect of social security on lone mothers’ employment: and secondly, the knowledge and perception of social security benefits in the decision making processes of lone mothers in relation to taking up paid work. Evidence from this study suggests that there are three structural barriers which hinder lone mothers from taking up paid employment outside their family; inadequate support for child care, the low level of Earnings Disregard Policy which discourages lone mothers living on benefit from being self-reliant and thirdly, the low wages that lone mothers earn in the labour market.
’Students of social policy, sociology, social work and feminism will find Dr. Leung’s book extremely stimulating…an excellent account of the position of lone mothers in the segmented labour market and the means-tested social security system in Hong Kong. This is an excellent book that deserves to be read widely.’ Vic George, Department of Social and Public Policy and Social Work, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK
Contents: Social security and work incentives; Women’s economic dependency and the labour market; Women and family change; Lone mothers in Hong Kong; Research methodology; Claiming experiences of lone mothers; Lone mothers and employment; The views of the officials; Conclusions.