Single Motherhood in Africa: Prevalence, Associated Factors, and Multidimensional Deprivation

Lorretta Ntoimo , Federal University Oye-Ekiti
Nyasha Chadoka, University of the Witwatersrand

Increase in single parenting especially among women has become a global concern as existing evidence continues to show that single motherhood is associated with higher risks of poverty and other negative outcomes. Using pooled data obtained from the Demographic and Health Surveys in 31 African countries, this study examined single motherhood in Africa with a specific focus on the prevalence, determinants, and association with multidimensional poverty. Descriptive statistics and multilevel logistic regression were used for data analysis. The results show that over 22% of women ages 20-49 years in Africa were unmarried mothers. The significant factors associated with single motherhood were similar across the sub-regions; notably education, occupation, birth order as the firstborn child, experience of intimate partner violence by respondent’s mother, access to the media, community level of poverty, and community level of female education. Never married mothers were the most vulnerable in all eight indicators of multidimensional deprivation.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity