INTRODUCTION[1]

Family plays an important role as the most basic unit of society. The forms of families change, over the course of an individual life and throughout history. Among these forms, single parenting, co-parenting or dual parenting have their own impacts on society and development at large, both positively and negatively.

Motherhood is, among other things a social institution. Motherhood is a special kind of human relationship, uniquely important because it offers a strong and powerful model for human relationships and is a vitally important ground for social behavior, open for critique to both conservatives and feminists. In mothering, as in the rest of social life, ethnographic attention to margins and details reveals much about the workings of power and culture, family relations, power relations, poverty and privilege, chaos and relative tranquility that springs up overtime in society.

The behaviors, symbols, values, beliefs that people accept make up, among other things their culture, and it becomes the way of life of a group of people. These cultures, passed by mostly communication and imitation from one generation to another as unique as it is, has evolved, changed and is dynamic over time. Some people who have not fully experienced indigenous traditional culture believe that to be too culturally aware makes one backward and or ancient. This is as a result of insufficient knowledge of cultural values and principles. The typical parent brings up a child in order for the child to imbibe the cultural values of the land and also be a responsible adult in different ways. Given that culture differs, it plays significant roles though the various parenting styles. Remarkably ironic, despite the changing scenes of history over time, the single motherhood institution, especially in Africa holds a certain bleakness, to be unraveled.

LITERATURE REVIEW

This section will review relevant literature on the Single-Motherhood.  Secondary sources that are relevant to the topic will be reviewed in different sections of: Women and Societal Development and Women and Family life.

Women and Societal Development.

In Women and Development[2], Olusesan Familusi Olumuyiwa and Peter Oke Olusegun write in “Changing Roles of Yoruba Women as an issue in National Development and Family Discourse” to discuss the role modernization and urbanization have played in the increasing levels of women’s autonomy and participation in the labor market. Mothers and single mothers have become bread winners of families alone or alongside the fathers: a feat which ab-initio was not so in a typical African (Nigerian) setting. I agree that modernization and urbanization are key factors that have led to women’s autonomy and participation in the labor market; however I would add that these changes are due to additional factors which include increased girls’ education, harsh economic conditions, genetic traits, cultural backgrounds.

Shelly Clark and Dana Hamplova in Single Motherhood in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Life Course Perspective[3] identify divorce and its increasing prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa as the major contributing factor to the increasing number of single mothers. The “working class” status that is greatly desired by mothers contributes to the somewhat neglect of family responsibilities and in cases where mothers don’t have “supportive” spouses, the pressure and strain of choosing between economic livelihood and family responsibility increase the rates of divorce. I strongly agree with this factor as it greatly resonates with modernization and urbanization as major factors of women’s autonomy and participation in the society.

In the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa 1979,[4] Olubanke Akerele, writes in “Women Workers in Ghana, Kenya, Zambia: A Comparative Analysis of Women’s Employment in the Modern Wage Sector” that the biological make up of women operates as a crucial factor affecting their employment in that frequent pregnancies are the most common complaint against women workers in Ghana, Zambia and Kenya. These results in frequent absences, withdrawal from the labour force, a broken pattern of a woman’s working life of which single mothers fall into this category. In Kenya for example, a training course in September 1974 for trainers of clerical cadres in the government ministries showed a preference for married women applicants as married women were considered more stable and serious than the younger unmarried women and single mothers.

The Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa estimates that 60% of South African children have an absent father and 40% of mothers are single parents in 2019. According to the Better Care Network, as at 2013, nearly 74% of children under the age of 18 in Nigeria live with both biological parents. 11% live with their biological mother, 5% with their biological father and 10% do not live with either biological parent.[5] In Johan Fouries’s blog, the Archive for the Education (category: “Why are there so many single mothers”?) one argument is historical: throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, young men would move to the mines, away from structured family life in the countryside. This migrant labour system would explain the large number of single women/mothers.[6] From this report, I realized that when jobs are available in the cities of habitation, migrant labour would reduce significantly and single mothers and children who desire a father figure would benefit from the presence of men in their lives.

Women and Family life

In The Unsung Heroines,[7]Anna X writes in “Motherhood and the problems of raising Children” to opine on the fears, uncertainty and anxiety single mothers face in rearing their children, with an uncertain reality that their daughters may become single mothers in the future. The single mothers see their children as reminders of their past (in cases where the mothers had rough experiences) and often fear for a history repeating itself. This chapter brings to limelight the stigma single mothers are faced with in their lifetime.

In Women and the Family,[8] Rafique Raza analyses the progression of interaction between men and women’s work and identifies different  phases: men and women both working to support the household in subsistence production, secondly; men and women following a divergent path as a split occurs between women’s unpaid work in the household and men’s bread winning, thirdly; the women increasingly sharing the breadwinning role with men: the “symmetrical family” in which both the financial support and the physical maintenance of the family are equally shared between men and women.[9] This chapter agrees that forms of basic division of labor appears to be founded on sex and gender. The tone of this chapter resonates that family roles and responsibility are based on biological differences, physical strength, which seems to garner an underlay of the struggle for gender equality.

GENERAL OVERVIEW OF MOTHERHOOD / SINGLE MOTHERS

Mothers are women who inhabit or perform the role of bearing some relation to children, who may or may not be their biological offspring.[10]A mother is a female who has birthed or gives care to a child or children. A single mother is a woman who births, lives with, raises or trains a child or children alone without a spouse or live-in partner. Reasons women become single mothers differ. A single mother becomes one circumstantially or voluntarily. Voluntarily, she becomes one via child or children adoption, or childbirth as an unmarried woman, girl or teenager. Circumstantially, she becomes a single mother via divorce, break-up, separation, abandonment, death of the other parent, rape, etc. In an interview with me, Miss Jane voiced her voluntary decision to become a single-mother, whereby “one can become a mother without necessarily birthing a child these days…I was faced with the reality that age was not on my side anymore and since I wasn’t married, I decided to adopt a child I can raise on my own”.[11]

In traditional African society, and Nigeria in particular, children are seen as blessings irrespective of the situations surrounding their birth. Children are seen in some cultures as the connection between the living and the dead and symbols of society’s regeneration. Mothers are idolized in various cultures in Nigeria, illustrating their elevated status. To the Igbo in Southeastern Nigeria, “Nneka” (mother is supreme), “Nneamaka” (mother is so good); to the Yoruba in Southwestern Nigeria, “Iyaniwura” (mother is gold); to the Tiv in Middle Belt Nigeria, ”Ngodoo”(mother is good); to the Swahili, “mama mzuri” (mother is good);etc. These aphorisms show how sacrosanct mothers are and depict the elevated status that mothers are raised in local languages. To be a mother connotes responsibility, fulfillment and completeness. Apart from female humans, female species of animals are held in high esteem due to their ability to procreate. People who rear domestic animals and farmers that rear animals for a living would always want their animals to give birth to the “she types” because it is profitable. This profitability in turn increases production, output and profit for business, promoting development.[12]

The typical traditional African-cum Nigerian society takes great pride in close knit family relationships. Polygamy in Africa is seen as a highly attained achievement that boosts social status in some communities. In the Igbo community of West African Nigeria, a man would have many wives, which would in turn mean numerous children to work in the farm. The greater number in hands of working children on the farm meant increased farm produce which leads to more sales for a commercial famer, profit and more plots of land which in turn elevates his social status in the village. This communal system of family life has seen dynamics of change nonetheless.

The single parent family is as old as the two-parent family, yet it is erroneously viewed as dysfunctional in some societies. The Biblical examples of Hagar, the hand maid of Sarah,[13] and the Widow of Zarephat[14]are records of single mothers. This shows that single parenting and motherhood is a long existing social institution. Islam does not encourage having children out of wedlock. The Islamic law frowns at fornication (zinna) and recommends flogging with a hundred stripes as the punishment for this sin according to some interpretations of Sharia. Muslim communities do not encourage single-family households: widows are encouraged to remarry.[15]

In the Etche community of present-day Rivers State, Nigeria, an age long tradition remains where a man who did not have a male child can allow his daughter(s) to have children with other men without being married to them. The children will bear the name of their maternal grandfather to continue the family lineage. This system of single motherhood is well accepted as a social system of parenting in the Etche community.[16]

Recently, single mothers have demystified the dysfunctional view of single motherhood by breaking bounds in diverse spheres for development in Africa.[17]The achievements of some single mothers in Africa make their life an enviable dream of some younger girls.

CHALLENGES OF SINGLE MOTHERHOOD AND IT’S IMPACT ON GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT IN IBADAN.

Single motherhood according to Janelle Taylor is an assumed root cause of poverty. She opines that:

“According to the conservative vision, single motherhood is especially immoral and harmful, in part because conservatives believe out-of-wedlock childbearing causes poverty…it is true that families headed by single females are disproportionately poorer than families with an adult male present”. [18]

Single mothers who are closely enmeshed with social welfare institutions are faced with the stigmatization of being ‘unproductive’ and consumers of resources rather than contributors to development. Taylor continues, “When motherhood itself is singled out as the cause of poverty, those few mechanisms that do exist to transfer public resources toward the support of poor women and their children tend to be decried and resented as an illegitimate use of other people’s money”. To Taylor, not only is mothering blamed for causing poverty, but the specific terms in which this blame is cast frame motherhood itself, when the mothers are poor and especially when the mothers are poor and black.[19] The stigmatization of forms of mothering in turn is deeply enmeshed with racism. In an interview with me, Miss Victoria shares how she has been stigmatized as a single mother:

“…by my very own family first of all then the larger crowd of friends and all. My parents forbade me from going to public places while pregnant. When the child was born, my parents called me in the midst of extended relations to announce how disappointed they are in me for having a child outside wedlock. They gave me an ultimatum to be married before I turn 30years, if not cease to be their child. I’ve struggled with acceptance and stigmatization that i don’t have any relationship with my old friends anymore”.[20]

Metaphorically speaking, in a capitalist world where there is a price tag on most everything, motherhood comes with a price. It is classified and stratified into different categories and cadres—dynamic experiences of motherhood have had affixed prices. From the standpoint of capitalism, production and the market, motherhood is perceived as work, mothers’ bodies and male semen are resources out of which babies are made from, children are perceived as the product, produced by the labour of mothering. Since not all work is equally valuable and not all products are equally valued, the metaphorical ‘capitalized motherhood’ is often devalued due to the system of production and factors of commodity production.[21]Single motherhood has become a fast rising phenomenon. This status unfortunately does not alleviate the stigma against it. Women’s biological make up, conferring upon them the status of child bearer, operates as a crucial factor affecting their employment. Frequent pregnancies are the most common complaint against women workers in Ghana, Zambia and Kenya. This, results in frequent absences, withdrawal from the labour force, the demands of child bearing, and a broken pattern of a woman’s working life of which single mothers are particularly vulnerable. In Kenya for example, a training course in September 1974 for trainers of clerical cadres in the Government Ministries showed a preference for married women applicants as married women were considered more stable and serious than the younger unmarried women and single mothers.[22]

Single mothers are likely to have mental health issues, financial hardships, live in low-income areas, and receive low levels of social support. Unlike countries in North America and Europe, most countries in sub-Saharan Africa lack welfare and social policies to protect vulnerable individuals from severe economic hardships. The low standard of living of some single mothers in sub-Saharan Africa poses a threat to development as their low conditions of living gives indices of development a foothold to increase and perpetuate the placement of Africa as underdeveloped. As a result, if single mothers cannot provide adequate financial support on their own, they most likely rely on the generosity of their kin and social networks.[23] This in turn leads to exploitation, favors, vulnerability to vices and a dependency. Mrs Jegede, in an interview with me was happy that she earns from her job as a civil servant widow:

“… I’m still earning salary as a civil servant and it helps me a great deal to cater for myself and my children’s school fees and needs. I don’t know what I would have done if I was not working. It’s not easy to cater for family alone though but I try”.[24]

Single mothers are faced with the uncertainty and anxiety of a reoccurring event, history repeating itself. They are often reminded of their past (in cases where the mothers had rough experiences as a single mother) when they have daughters that have reached the age of puberty or when their children act in manners deemed inappropriate. Anna X shares similar thoughts:

“The girls are growing up; I worry about them. For those who have reached the age of puberty I try to explain to them a few facts of life. It is not easy to teach your children about family life education but I try. I would not like them to go through what I went through because of my ignorance and youth. Take my own case, if any of my daughters got pregnant now or misbehaved, I know people would say they expected it especially with a mother of my historical background. So, you see, the social stigma stays with you. When people say such things, I wonder if they ever feel that I too as a woman and mother have such anxieties and that I wish nothing but the best for my children.”[25]

Modernization and urbanization have brought about increasing levels of women’s autonomy and greater participation in the labor market. Due to harsh economic conditions, the many mothers have become bread winners of their families alone or alongside the fathers. The official responsibilities may not always give mothers ample time to discharge their duties as mothers. Even if they are not single bread winners, the fact that they are employees of some organization will impel them to perform dual roles as mothers in the home and workers in an official capacity.[26] In cases where mothers do not have “supportive” husbands, the pressure and strain of choice between economic livelihood and family responsibility increases the rates of divorce. The “working class” status that is greatly desired by mothers inadvertently contributes to the rise in divorce rates, increasing the number of single mothers. To development, employment and income which are important indexes contribute to a certain “unbalance” in family and home management which increases divorce rates.

A key predictor of divorce is age of first marriage. Early child marriages practiced in African communities contribute to immature marriages that eventually lead to divorce. The fact that marriages are contracted to seal a pact, as a repayment of debt and so on, lead to unwanted marriages where the couples are betrothed either in absentia, ignorantly or at young ages and are compelled to honor the marriage as a sign of respect to their parents. This practice leads to unwanted marriages that do not stand the test of time. In Ethiopia, for example, girls who marry before the age of 15 are significantly more likely to get divorced, while in Mozambique women who marry before the age of 18 have a 24% higher risk of getting divorced than those who marry at age 25 or older.[27]

The patriarchal nature of the African traditional society is inadvertently a challenge to single mothers. Customary succession and the inheritance law of the Igbo in Nigeria is generally patrilineal but there are a few communities where bilineal succession was practiced. Thus, generally speaking, the cardinal principle of succession law among the Igbo is the concept of primogeniture, i.e. succession through the eldest male in the family (known as Okpala, di-okpala or diokpa). It is the male child among the Igbo that is reckoned with in the distribution of property for the purpose of inheritance.[28] The primo geniture given to men poses a great issue of concern to widows that have no male children. A widow whose late husband had property that would have maintained or increased the social and economic livelihood of the widow and her children becomes condemned to poverty on account of having all female children. This outcome perpetuates her poverty as a single mother, which she became circumstantially. In Lesotho and southern Ethiopia, most people still follow the custom of male primogeniture. However, in Zambia, Namibia and Cameroon, the prevalent customary law of patrilineal primogeniture is beginning to be challenged in court. In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe and Gambia, the predominant custom of male primogeniture is also beginning to be considered unfair by some women and younger sons.[29]

Single mothers are faced with lack of moral support from their families while raising their children. Many women also face scrutiny when trying to remarry; they are seen as a “second hand” commodity for a marriage partner. Single mothers also are often looked down upon or may be discouraged from remarrying due to cultural hindrances. This in turn strains the promotion of family life.

In an Africa where the weight of tradition is omnipresent and where societies are for the most conservative, there are persistent scourges that are difficult to accept. In the Igbo community in Nigeria for instance, “imeokwa” (pregnancy out of wedlock) is an unpleasant abomination that brings shame and disgrace to the girl’s family and depicts her mother as irresponsible. People who committed similar abominations were banished to an evil forest, stigmatized or offered as sacrifices to the gods, in connection with the “osu” caste system. In recent times, religion, education and increased literacy, exposure to new cultures, changes in societal status, and feminist and gender dynamics contribute to the psychological decisions of voluntary single motherhood to replace stigmatization, making single motherhood a proud adventure. In most cases, the society is not yet sufficiently educated to face this type of novelty without judgment. Among these, we find the issue of single mothers who, despite the evolution, are still stigmatized in our continent.

Single mothers in South Africa make up a huge chunk of parents that are struggling to raise their children. Encouraging the fathers to shoulder some of the burden is proving difficult as courts find it hard to mandate child support. Report from Statistics South Africa indicates that of the 7.2 million houses in the country that contain children, less than half of them had both parents. The 2017 general household survey showed that 62.7% of households in South Africa had absent fathers. The survey revealed that almost half (49.6%) of these households only contained a single mother and less than 4% of them had a single father. While many single mothers often turn to the courts to compel the fathers of their children to pay child support in South Africa, anecdotal evidence suggests even that route is not foolproof. Some “deadbeat dads” are known to quit their jobs just to avoid paying child support.[30]

Children born to single mothers sometimes do a lot more work in order to be accepted into our societies. In addition to the term ‘bastards’ often used to describe them, effects on children’s psychological status is a major handicap for children born to single mothers. Before 1981 in Cameroon, birth certificates and national identity cards contained the words “unknown father”.  Fathers who did not recognize their children would be registered on the child’s birth certificate as “pére inconnu” (father unknown). However, legislation has since suppressed this administrative custom.[31] Of the 989,318 babies born in 2017 in South Africa, 61.7% have no information about their father included on their birth certificate. The women who register these babies do not record the father’s information. Single women can include birth father details on children’s birth certificate for data capturing and information to the child and society at large when the need arises.[32]

In contemporary Africa, the conditions of women have seen a huge awakening to a positive advancement. Different areas of concern that pertains to women and single mothers at large have sprung up in the 20th and 21st centuries. Action plans to alleviate the different conditions of women and single mothers is a step in the right direction. The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing marked a significant turning point for the global agenda for gender equality. The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted unanimously by 189 countries, is an agenda for women’s empowerment and considered the key global policy document on gender equality. It sets strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern:

  • Women and poverty
  • Education and training of women
  • Women and health
  • Violence against women
  • Women and armed conflict
  • Women and the economy
  • Women in power and decision-making
  • Institutional mechanism for the advancement of women
  • Human rights of women
  • Women and the media
  • Women and the environment
  • The girl-child[33]

The eight area of concern, the “Institutional Mechanism for the Advancement of Women”, addresses the discrimination against women as it concerns the institution of the single parent family and single women. Follow the Beijing Conference, there has been a review every five years and appraisal of the areas of concern raised in the conference. Regional bodies concerned with the advancement of women have been strengthened, together with international organizations, such as the Commission on the Status of Women and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.[34]

With the proliferation of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the 20th century, NGOs that support single mothers and vulnerable children have operated in contemporary Africa. It is estimated that more than 73 single women were trained in vocational and business management skills, economically empowered via micro loans and tooling assistance and over 420 vulnerable children and families have benefited from the intervention of The African Development Programme (ADP) in partnership with Holt International Children’s Services in Ghana. An amount of $17, 000 was committed for the implementation of the projects from June to September 2017.[35]There are several agencies, charity organizations, NGOs, religious groups and a host of individual efforts that provide assistance for single mothers and their children across Africa. They offer free food, grants, clothing, holiday help, or basic needs. Single mothers can take advantage of the availability of these platforms to support their children when in need.

Local community leaders and activists are intervening to address certain unconventional cultural norms that increase divorce rates and broken marriages. Theresa Kachindamoto is the paramount chief, or Inkosi, of the Dedza District in the central region of Malawi. She is known for her forceful action in dissolving child marriages and insisting on education for both girls and boys. In June 2015 she told Maravi Post, “I have terminated 330 marriages, yes, of which 175 were girl-wives and 155 were boy-fathers. I wanted them to go back to school and that has worked.” She told Nyasa Times,

“I don’t want youthful marriages, they must go to school. We have now set our own laws to govern everybody within my area when it comes to marriages and will leave no sacred cow…No child should be found loitering at home; gardening or doing any house hold chores during school time. No village head, Group Village Head man (GVH) or church clergy to officiate marriage before scrutinizing the birth dates of the couple.[36]

Kachindamoto was disturbed when she found high rates of child marriage in her district. She could not persuade parents to change their views, but had the 50 sub-chiefs in the district agree to abolish early marriage and annul existing unions. She fired four sub-chiefs responsible for areas where child marriages continued, later reinstating them when she had confirmation that these marriages had been annulled. She convinced community leaders to change the civil code to ban early marriage. As of 2019 she had managed to have over 3,500 early marriages annulled. Her actions have brought her international recognition.[37] African communities where child marriages are practiced need more chiefs like Theresa Kachindamoto that can boldly stand against child marriages and rather encourage girls to marry or have children at adult ages.

CONCLUSION

Although more research is required, a closer focus on single motherhood may prove to be a more effective means of identifying an especially vulnerable population of women and children, particularly if episodes of single motherhood have not only short-term implications, but also place these women and children on pathways of greater poverty and disadvantage. This dearth of research in Africa is surprising given that single motherhood is common in many countries across the sub-continent as a result of high levels of premarital birth, divorce, and widowhood.

Beyond stirring controversy, single mothers and their development is a form of family institution that has come to stay and should be made inclusive in the society at large. This will go a long way to making single mothers comfortable and humans in the truest sense. They should have the same opportunities as their married counterparts without antagonism, stereotyping or stigmatization. African society and the world at large need the input of women, irrespective of maternity or marital status.

Irrespective of the invaluable roles single mothers play and their efforts, the institution still identifies a certain lacuna of the father figure in the family system. Iya Bowale agrees that “nobody prays for an unsuccessful marriage/venture you know… first of all, being both father and mother at the same time is not an easy feat. Some fatherly roles I can’t play for my children breaks my heart when I think about it when the need for it arises”.[38]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

PRIMARY SOURCES

Interviews

Interview with Iya Bowale, Aged 47, Baker, Bodija Ibadan. July 1, 2021.

Interview with Mrs Jegede, Aged 48, Ojoo Ibadan on July 1, 2021.

Interview with Victoria Akinola Aged 26, Trader, Orogun Ibadan on July 1, 2021

SECONDARY SOURCES

Books

Akerele, Olubanke, Women Workers in Ghana, Kenya, Zambia: A Comparative Analysis of Women’s Employment in the Modern Wage Sector; United Nations Economic Commission for Africa 1979.

Anna X, “Motherhood and the problems of raising Children” in Magdalene K. Ngaiza & Bertha Koda (eds), The Unsung Heroines, Dar es Salaam, Women’s Research and Documentation Project, 1991.

Better Care Network, Nigeria DHS 2013: Children’s Care and Living Arrangements, 2015, New York: Better Care Network p 2.

Familusi, Olusesan Olumuyiwa and Peter Oke Olusegun, “Changing Roles of Yoruba Women as an Issue in

National Development and Family Discourse” in Women in Development, S, Ademola Ajayi and Kehinde Ayantayo (eds); Ibadan, John Archers Publishers Limited, 2015.

Taylor, Janelle, Consuming Motherhood, New Jersey and London, Rutgers University Press New Brunswick, 2004, 6-7.

Rothman, Barbara Katz, “Motherhood under Capitalism,” in Janelle S. Taylor et all ed, Consuming Motherhood, New Jersey and London, Rutgers University Press New Brunswick, 2004.

Women in Nigeria Editorial Committee, Women and Family, Edited Proceedings of the Second Annual Women in Nigeria Conference 1985, Zaria.

Dissertations / Theses

Nmeni, Patricia G, “The Role of Women in the Socio-Economic Activity of the Etche People”; NCE Long Essay 1988, P.22

Obafemi, S. A, “Challenges and Coping Strategies of Single Parents in Ibadan South –East Local Government Area”, Oyo State, M.A Thesis, University of Ibadan, 2016, 16.

Unpublished Articles

Adekunle, Titus; Succession and Inheritance Law in Nigeria: Resolving the discriminatory Proprietary Rights of Widows and Children. Unpublished PDF.

Clark Shelley and Dana Hamplová; Single Motherhood in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Life Course Perspective 2011 Unpublished PDF.

Journal Articles

Anne-Emmanuèle Calvès, “Premarital Childbearing in Urban Cameroon: Paternal Recognition, Child Care and Financial Support”, Journal of Comparative Family Studies; Vol. 31, No. 4 (Autumn 2000), Toronto, University of Toronto Press pp. 443-461. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41603712 Accessed 19th February 2020.

Internet Sources

Johan Fourie’s blog, Archive for the ‘Education’ Category “why are there so many Single Mothers”?

https://johanfourie.wordpress.com/category/education/?iframe=true&preview=true%2Ffeed%2F Assessed 19th February 2020.

“Historical inheritance systems” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_inheritance_systems Assessed 24 February 2020.

Lindi Masinga, ‘He Will Only Pay R500’: Single Moms Reveal Their Daily Struggles Source:https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/he-will-only-pay-r500-single-moms-reveal-their-daily-struggles-20607471Gauteng / 4 April 2019, 8:57pm / Lindi Masinga African News Agency (ANA), Accessed 10th February 2020.

https://www.unwomen.org/en/how-we-work/intergovernmental-support/world-conferences-on-women Assessed 25th February 2020

https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/institu.htm Assessed 25th February 2020

https://www.modernghana.com/news/780254/2-ngos-to-support-single-mothers-orphans-and-vuln.html. Assessed 19th February 2020.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresa_Kachindamoto Assessed 24 February 2020.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Ibadan is chosen for this project to represent Nigeria  Ibadan is the largest city in Nigeria by geographical area. Ibadan is the third largest city by population after Lagos and Kano, with a population of about 3, 649,000 as of 2021. Ibadan is a remarkably historic city in Nigeria. Home to the prestigious University of Ibadan(First University in Nigeria), NTA Ibadan (First Television Station in Tropical Africa), Cocoa House(completed in 1965 with a  height of 105metres, with 26storeys, once the tallest building in Nigeria and first sky scrapper in West Africa, built from the sales of cocoa during Nigeria’s First Republic) Information generated can here from be a near-fit for a generalized Nigeria. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibadan

[2] Olusesan Familusi Olumuyiwa and Peter Oke Olusegun, “Changing Roles of Yoruba Women as an Issue in

National Development and Family Discourse” in Women in Development, S, Ademola Ajayi and Kehinde

Ayantayo(eds); Ibadan, John Archers Publishers Limited, 2015, p.311.

[3] Shelly Clark an Dana Hamplova, Single Motherhood in Sub-Saharan African: A Life Changing Course Perspective 2011, Unpublished PDF,p.8

[4] Olubanke Akerele, Women Workers in Ghana, Kenya, Zambia: A Comparative Analysis of Women’s Employment

in the Modern Wage Sector; United Nations Economic Commission for Africa 1979.

[5] Better Care Network, Nigeria DHS 2013: Children’s Care and Living Arrangements, 2015, New York: Better Care Network p 2.

[6] Johan Fourie’s blog, Archive for the ‘Education’ Category “why are there so many Single Mothers”?

https://johanfourie.wordpress.com/category/education/?iframe=true&preview=true%2Ffeed%2F Assessed 19th

February 2020.

[7] Anna X, “Motherhood and the problems of raising Children” in Magdalene K. Ngaiza& Bertha Koda(eds), The

Unsung Heroines, Dar es Salaam, Women’s Research and Documentation Project, 1991, p. 54

[8] Women in Nigeria Editorial Committee, Women and Family, Edited Proceedings of the Second Annual Women in Nigeria Conference 1985, Zaria.

[9] Women in Nigeria Editorial Committee, Women and Family, Edited Proceedings of the Second Annual Women in Nigeria Conference 1985, Zaria.

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother Accessed February 10, 2020.

[11] Interview with Miss Jane, Aged51, Skin Care formulator/Fashion Designer, Ring road. Ibadan. July 1, 2021.

[12] Olusesan Familusi Olumuyiwa, Peter Oke Olusegun, “Changing Roles of Yoruba Women as an Issue in National Development and Family Stability Discourse”, S. Ademola Ajayi and J. Kehinde Ayantayo (eds); Women in Development, Essays in Memory of Prof. Dorcas Olubanke Akintunde, Ibadan, John Archers Publishers Limited 2015 p.310.

[13] The Holy Bible, Genesis 16:15

[14] The Holy Bible, 1Kings 17:8-10

[15] Quran 24:2; Islamweb.net,” Fornication and adultery: Major sins Islam,” Source: http://www.islamicweb.net/en/article/186409/fornication-and-adultery-major-sins-in-islam. Accessed January 28, 2020.

[16] Nmeni Patricia G, “The Role of Women in the Socio-Economic Activity of the Etche People”; NCE Long Essay 1988, P.22

[17] S. A. Obafemi, “Challenges and Coping Strategies of Single Parents in Ibadan South –East Local Government Area”, Oyo State, M.A Thesis, University of Ibadan, 2016, 16.

[18] Janelle Taylor, Consuming Motherhood, New Jersey and London, Rutgers University Press New Brunswick, 2004, 6-7.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Interview with Victoria Akinola Aged 26, Trader, Orogun Ibadan on July 1, 2021

[21] Barbara Katz Rothman, “Motherhood under Capitalism,” in Janelle S. Taylor et all ed, Consuming Motherhood, New Jersey and London, Rutgers University Press New Brunswick, 2004, p.19-20.

[22] Olubanke Akerele, Women Workers in Ghana, Kenya, Zambia: A Comparative Analysis of Women’s Employment in the Modern Wage Sector; United Nations Economic Commission for Africa 1979, p.46.

[23] Shelley Clark and Dana Hamplová, Single Motherhood in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Life Course Perspective 2011 PDF, 8.

[24] Interview with Mrs Jegede, Aged 48, Ojoo Ibadan on July 1, 2021.

[25] Anna X, “Motherhood and the problems of raising Children” in Magdalene K. Ngaiza & Bertha Koda (eds),The Unsung Heroines, Dar es Salaam, Women’s Research and Documentation Project, 1991, 54.

[26] Olusesan Familusi Olumuyiwa and Peter Oke Olusegun, “Changing Roles of Yoruba Women as an Issue in National Development and Family Discourse” in Women in Development, S, Ademola Ajayi and Kehinde Ayantayo (eds); Ibadan, John Archers Publishers Limited, 2015, 311.

[27] Shelley Clark and Dana Hamplová; Single Motherhood in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Life Course Perspective 2011 Unpublished PDF,8.

[28] Titus Adekunle, Succession and Inheritance Law in Nigeria: Resolving the discriminatory Proprietary Rights of Widows and Children. Unpublished PDF, P.5

[29] “Historical inheritance systems” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_inheritance_systems Assessed 24 February 2020.

[30] LindiMasinga, ‘He Will Only Pay R500’: Single Moms Reveal Their Daily Struggles Source:https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/he-will-only-pay-r500-single-moms-reveal-their-daily-struggles-20607471Gauteng / 4 April 2019, 8:57pm / Lindi Masinga African News Agency (ANA), Accessed 10th February 2020 by 11.43pm.

[31] Anne-Emmanuèle Calvès, “Premarital Childbearing in Urban Cameroon: Paternal Recognition, Child Care and Financial Support”, Journal of Comparative Family Studies; Vol. 31, No. 4 (Autumn 2000), Toronto, University of Toronto Press pp. 443-461. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41603712 Accessed 19th February 2020.

[32] Johan Fourie’s blog, Archive for the ‘Education’ Category “why are there so many Single Mothers”? https://johanfourie.wordpress.com/category/education/?iframe=true&preview=true%2Ffeed%2F Assessed 19th February 2020.

[33] https://www.unwomen.org/en/how-we-work/intergovernmental-support/world-conferences-on-women Assessed 25th February 2020

[34] https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/institu.htm Assessed 25th February 2020

[35] https://www.modernghana.com/news/780254/2-ngos-to-support-single-mothers-orphans-and-vuln.html. Assessed 19th February 2020.

[36] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresa_Kachindamoto Assessed 24 February 2020

[37] Ibid.

[38] Interview with IyaBowale, Aged 47, Baker, Bodija Ibadan. July 1, 2021.

Ekeanyanwu, Chinma U.

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