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Descent Into Single Motherhood 

By Arruahmeh Ayukosok*

Why do some women become single mothers? Poor moral standards, early exposure to the outside world, lack of proper sex education and poor financial status of parents may push some girls into single motherhood. All of these lead to unwanted pregnancies at a teenage age. They drop out of school and end up raising their children by themselves.

Marianne Bih, a single mother of 20, says: “I have been a single mother since I was 18. Things have been terrible for me. I suffered rejection from the father of my child, after promising to marry me but he abandoned me at the peak of the pregnancy.” Most single mothers find themselves in such circumstances due to desperation as in the case of Elizabeth Tah; “I got my first child at the age of 33 with a married man.

I was desperate at the age of 32 and I said to myself that marriage is not everyone’s choice that is the reason I am a single mother, “she said. Tah works in a provision store to try and make ends meet. But her worst moments are when she is alone at home. “I feel very lonely. Men are not interested in proposing marriage to me now because of my child,” she said.

Twenty-four-year-old Helen Etah faces difficulties talking to her daughter on the whereabouts of her father. “It is a bitter experience to be a single mother. I had this child when I was 18. The father of my child got married to another young girl like me and abandoned me. I could not further my education and financial instability was inevitable,” Etah told The Post.   

However, some women become single mothers when they lose their husbands through death. Some are successful widows if they are well educated with a good career. Others, because of the bitterness of an unsuccessful marriage, end up in divorce and have to raise their children by themselves. This issue of rampant divorces also plagues our societies with many single mothers.

Though unpalatable, with its emotional and financial stress, some women brave it to the top and become successful at the end and others, because of feebleness of the female gender, find their lives destroyed. The phenomenon of single motherhood often has a negative effect on children such as emotional imbalance and instability, leading to trauma that affects their morals and education.

Prostitution and drug abuse are some of the consequences of desperate single mothers. Single mothers, especially teenage young girls, face challenges such as financial instability, educational and emotional breakdown and rejection by families.

*(UB Journalism Student On Internship)

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