Kochi: If a woman feels she is nothing without the support of a man, it is the failure of the system, the Kerala high court said while suggesting that the government should introduce a support scheme for single mothers, the TOI reported.
A division bench comprising justices A Muhamed Mustaque and Kauser Edappagath made the observation in a case in which a single mother (named as ‘Anitha’ by the court to protect privacy) had to give up her child for adoption out of anxiety about her status as a single mother and considering her child’s future. This was after a live-in partner was estranged for a few years.
In a country where people worship Goddess, in the land where people have been taught about woman, in the State where we boast cent per cent literacy, our attitude to a woman is despising; a single mother has no financial or social support, the court said while quoting from Manusmriti.
Single mothers who chose to carry their child to full term and give birth face emotional challenges and is forced to believe she is destined to be isolated as a result of guilt, the court noted while stressing that it is time for the government to evolve a scheme to support the single mother.
Referring to chat messages between the single mother and the social worker, the court said they show how vulnerable it is for a woman becoming a mother outside a legally-wedded relation.
Anitha was willing to bear the child but was not allowed by circumstances in the society, the court said. “She thought without the support of man, she cannot survive. If a woman feels she is nothing without the support of the man that is the failure of the system,” the national daily quoted the court as saying.
Asking the government to evolve a scheme to support single mothers, the court said, “It is for the State to make her realize that her struggle with the forces undermining her existence can be validated with the support of rule of law. That self-belief must be her identity and respect due to her.”