There are significantly more female lone parents compared to male lone-parents in Canada . In addition, female lone parents are one of the most impoverished family groups in Canada: 32% of lone-mothers were considered to be low income, compared to 8% in two-parent families and 10% in all other family types . Lone-mothers earn less than lone-fathers. For example, in 2006, male lone-parent families earned an average of $54,500 compared to only $37,000 for female lone-parent families in Canada . The earnings numbers are complicated by the differences in hours worked. The 2001 Census indicate 71% of female lone parents were employed, of which 61% were working full-time, while 17% were working part-time. In contrast, 82% of lone parent fathers were employed in 2001, of whom 84% worked mostly full-time while 6% worked mostly part-time . However, the differential hours worked cannot account for the entire wage disparity.
Occupational segregation and pay inequity faced by women also exacerbate this wage gap. It is important to note that just as many women who are working part-time would rather be working full-time, but cannot find full-time employment . Another complicating factor is the lack of affordable and accessible child care. Some lone mothers choose to remain outside of the paid labour force entirely to stay home to care for their children, and thus face making ends meet on welfare incomes, which are not adequate [10,11].