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Patricia Arquette's single mother struggle

Patricia Arquette's single mother struggle

Patricia Arquette struggled as a single mother in her 20s.

The 'Boyhood' actress - who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Olivia Evans in the coming-of-age film - admits she based her character on her own experiences bringing up her son Enzo, now 26.

She said: "I was a single mom when I was 20, and there were times where I didn't know if I could buy him diapers and could buy food.

"I knew what that was like. I was winning that award for a character [in 'Boyhood'] who predominantly raised her two kids and had to move them time and time again and put herself through school and be the primary breadwinner, and how was she going to do all that?"

The 47-year-old actress - who also has daughter Harlow, 12 - opened up about the importance of women being regarded as equals to their male counterparts.

She told Huff Post Live!: "The demographics changed in America. We have only 30 percent of families living in the traditional 'dad is the breadwinner, mom stays home' model.

"[But] right now, we have 66 million women and children living in poverty. Half of those ... would not be living in poverty if their moms were paid a full dollar [to a man's dollar]. So the number one thing we could at this moment for child poverty ... is to make sure their moms get paid a full dollar."