Single mothers by choice are becoming common in Uganda. It is almost the new normal among women who have money. And the reason for this is: many women are sick and tired of Ugandan men, they say. As a result, many women are choosing to be single.
Some of these women have gone as far as determining the kind of man (play boy) who should sire a child with them. As soon as she realizes she is pregnant she does not want to see this man again.
Causes of single motherhood by choice include:
- Women’s education has improved dramatically over the past decades, with girls keeping in school longer than boys and even outsmarting them, they set conditions or expectations of the man they want to marry.
- With many girls armed with degrees and few young men with equivalent degrees, husband shortage has never been direr.
- Education changes women’s expectations. Already, the mean age for marriage among educated women in Uganda is estimated at 25-40
- At Makerere University, the number of female graduates has increased from 779 (27%) in 1996 to 6,495 (48.8%) in 2011.
- Back in 1996, males formed the majority of graduates at 73%. But now the gender gap has narrowed, with 48.8% of female graduates and 51% male graduates.
- Few women are willing to marry uneducated men.Yet, many educated men don’t necessarily marry highly educated women
- It is being argued that all this stems from the fact that a number of men are not faithful; even some married old men are jumping into bed with young university girls.
- Men have become very disappointing to women in that several men have abandoned their breadwinner responsibilities at home; when well-to-do women think of such irresponsible men they choose to live single lives.
- The lack of happy marriages. With all these unhappy marriages around, young people may not be motivated to get married.
- Habits like polygamy are making women stay away from men. Uganda Bureau of Statistics report shows that 17% of men aged 15-54 report having two or more wives.
- Older men living in rural areas and those with little or no education are more likely to be in polygamous unions.
Single mothers cut across levels of education and finances; they are simple women that have been left with the precious, albeit challenging, duty of raising children alone.