The story of a very brave girl called Jack
by Sabina Rossignoli
She signs MsJackMonroe, is a 25 years old British and lives alone with 3 year-old son Small Boy. She is the founder of the blog A girl called Jack where she tells the story of her difficulties in making ends meet as a single mother. In the page “Hunger Hurts” she writes about having to leave her job in the Fire Brigades and consequently face the hardship of poverty and hunger. Slowly she starts selling her belongings, TV, watch, radio, laptop and visiting the pawn shop increasingly frequently. She has to give explanations to her son who realizes that sometimes there is not enough for her mother to eat.
A girl called Jack is a food blog created by a woman who has no choice but setting a weekly food budget of 10 Pounds for her household. She offers more than seventy recipes precious to families who have little or no disposable income. She advises on the prices, the best deals, the best grocery shops. She doesn’t throw anything away and find the perfect solution to cope with the very small fridge she has. And thus the blog is a place of wisdom about home economics, where hand washing is optimized and the cattle only rarely employed.
The blog has a political stance because Jack Monroe is a sharp observer of the incongruities and inconsistencies of the thin British welfare system. When she wants to join a Conservative Party meeting, she is boycotted by the security service. When she looks for a job, she sends 300 applications and doesn’t find anything. She monitors a system that is not allowing her to provide for herself and her son properly, and she gives names and faces to those who make the lives of poor people even worse. She points at the government policies who let her and others fall into poverty.
We really love this website because Jack Monroe shares the fate of the many women who comment her posts and identify with her, for which she is an example and a reason to hope for a better future. Jack Monroe is very brave and generous, we love her courage, her creativity and her strength. And her recipes.
Women and poverty in the West
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, out of 12.2 million single parent families in 2012, more than 80% were headed by single mothers. Today, 1 in 3 children – a total of 15 million – are being raised without a father.Of that group, nearly half live below the poverty line.
In France, more than 3 single mothers out of 5 (62%) have admitted having had difficulties in eating properly, against 37% of average in the survey. 61% of women couldn’t pay their rent, mortgage or housing fees, against 36% in average.