With rising divorce rates, single-parent families make up an increasing portion of all families in Canada. Despite the struggles and commitment of the women who are the sole providers of these families, most single parents are raising children in poverty. Eating the Wedding Gifts focuses on the lack of post-secondary education as the major factor in this persistent social reality and provides strong evidence that young women at high school today (and their parents) will find compelling. Choices made at high school graduation are key to a woman’s life-time economic independence–as divorce and poverty figures show, the most risky choice is marriage before higher education. Many women have been playing it safe over the last two decades, going on from high school to university in increasing numbers with the result that Canadian women with university degrees now outnumber men with degrees. Looking to their own futures, today’s female high school students need to count themselves among the numbers in this unparalleled trend for women, preparing for self-sufficiency whatever surprises life may hold.”
About the Author
Barbara Murphy was born in Winnipeg. She graduated from McGill University and moved to Ottawa, where she worked for the Children’s Aid Society and as director of day care services. While a full-time working mom, she pursued post-graduate studies as a part-time student at Carleton University and obtained an M.A. in Sociology and M.SW. She taught courses in social policy and worked as a social policy consultant. Her books Why Women Bury Men: The Longevity Gap in Canada, The Ugly Canadian: The Rise and Fall of a Caring Society, On the Street: How We Created the Homeless, and Eating the Wedding Gifts: Lean Years After Marriage Break-Up explore issues that affect the social structure of Canadian society. Barbara Murphy died in 2019.