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Posted on April 17th, 2014, by

The Mothers’ Allowance policy had an enormous impact on the lives of Canadians. The provinces and municipalities in Canada not only paid mothers without any means of financial support to stay at home and look after the children, but also supported their caring work and their family life, recognizing the importance and value of motherhood and its effects on a healthy citizenship (Westhues, p. 296). As this initiative supported different categories of mothers, it had social significance in the development of morale of Canadians. Moreover, practically all mothers were subjected to supervision, strict destitution testing, moral investigations in order to have the right to participate in the program.

However, it has been found that today social support in Canada continues to be imbued with moralist judgments about recipients of these benefits. Many elected official depict the recipients of these benefits as lazy, irresponsible and promiscuous, according to John M. Herrick and Paul H. Stuart (2004, p. 440). Some single mothers were disentitled after their children reach the age of 6. In addition, the Mothers’ Allowance programs were not means tested and in many cases, the concept of entitlement was unequally attached to the status of mother (Herrick & Stuart, 2004, p. 443).  It has been found that millions of women in Canada became unconditional recipients of the meager benefits provided by this policy and determined by the number of children in care.

Although the Mothers’ Allowance policy was characterized by meager benefits for mothers and their children, and a number of regulatory procedures, the Mother’s Allowance programs can be viewed as an important point in the history of social welfare in Canada (Turner, 2005, p. 245). This policy provided support for mother-work life, family life and interpersonal relationships. In addition, it provided direct public intervention in certain issues connected with motherhood. This fact means that the majority of mothers not only got the appropriate benefits, but also was separated from other mothers.


            In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the Mothers’ Allowance programs established in Canada in 1916 had an enormous impact on the lives of women and on the life of the Canadian society as a whole. This policy provided solution to many social, economic and gender problems that existed in the post-war society. For example, many women were supported financially, and had a chance to stay and home and raise their children. In addition, this policy granted a public value to the significant role of motherhood and improved the health of the young generation.

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