I think any single parent, though most of them are women, should be assigned either higher living wages or more government help in the upbringing of their children. This should not be gender specific and should be done on a case to case basis. To break it down by gender is ridiculous.
No, single mothers should not be assigned higher wages. Here in the United States it would just be a great step forward if most women in the workplace made the same wages as men, among all industries. I'm happy for pay equality, but having a child does not in any way entitle you to special rights like extra pay.
Women should not be paid more than man simply due to a propensity for carrying and birthing children on their own than men should be paid more due to a propensity for having a girlfriend who enjoys a specific lifestyle. The American workplace boasts that it is an Equal Opportunity Employer which means no discrimination based upon gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or age. Those factors, which are actually prohibited from being asked during an interview, also include family status and size. There is no doubt that the plight of a single-mother is a hard one, but that does not make her more qualified or better at her job than another employee, which is the only acceptable reason for an increase in pay. Wages are based upon standard agreements as well as skill and talent (and in some cases tenure or time spent on the job), not upon a person’s needs or their family’s needs. If this practice was implemented, why not argue that the elderly or chronically ill, or repeated criminal offenders be paid more when on the job because their at home costs and needs are greater than the ‘average’ family or individual? It is a terrible financial situation that faces single mothers, but that does not qualify them as better workers or more entitled employees; that nullifies the principles of equal opportunities and equal rights at their core.
The choice to be a single mother is one made by the female, and assistance should only be given on a needs specific basis for individuals who cannot provide for their children comfortably. It makes no sense to extend the benefits across the board if not all people are meeting the criteria.
If we are talking here about the United States, then most of our prisoners already have more than enough rights as long as they are not abused and have clean quarters and decent food. They are in prison for a reason, and they should not be getting more rights or more luxuries or more privileges.
Besides the fact that "living wage" is impossible to define, employers would simply hire less single mothers. Businesses are not charities - raising the price of labor for one set of potential employees will only hurt them. If you were a business owner and had the choice between hiring a man for $7.25/hr or a single mother for $10.10/hr, holding all other conditions (education, productivity) equal you would hire the man.