Single Parenthood In Kenya

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ABSTRACT Research reveals that six out of every ten Kenyan women are likely to be single mothers before they reach the age of 45. The increasing number of single mothers is drawn by the fact that more men are abandoning their traditional role as the providers for their children. In light of parental responsibility, the Children’s Act No. 8 of 2001 and the Constitution of Kenya 2010 are the main laws that govern parental responsibility of parents of children born inside marriage and those born outside marriage. Parental responsibility is simply defined as all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and the child’s property in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities…show more content…
Now, today in Kenya as a result of the many births outside marriage needs of children born in cohabitation unions are not met up adequately. This is because once cohabitation is over and one of the partners denies their parental responsibility towards their child, then the other partner is left to take care of the child alone. This is alternatively known as single parenthood. Single parenthood can be either man-headed families or female- headed families. In Kenya, the rights of children born out of wedlock and supported by single mothers is something that has long overdue gone unaddressed adequately by our laws. Statistics show that cases of female-headed families also referred to as single mothers are…show more content…
In contrast to the traditional concept of marriage and the family, today marriage is not considered as a priority to the evolution of a family. In support of this, very many children are born out of marriages. The question that arises from this scenario is whether a child born out of marriage is legitimate or not. In limelight to this, are the rising cases of unequal parental responsibility with the woman given an upper hand in raising her child while the man on the other hand is left ‘free’. Gender inequality especially in roles has been a huge tussle not only today but also was an issue in the early centuries which was greatly addressed by the Feminist proponents. Liberal feminists believe that woman’s domestic responsibility will place her at a disadvantage and therefore, responsibility. Even as the constitution mandates that both parents have an equal responsibility in the upbringing of the child whether married or not, in practice this is not the same. Single mothers still face undue barriers such as orders for DNA tests by the court in the application of the law on equal parental responsibility. With regard to this, this study not only seeks to analyze the extent to which the constitutional provision on equal parental responsibility is being implemented or not but also looks into people’s reaction in conjunction to this

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