Young mothers

Around one million births occurred in South Africa in 2011; approximately 14% of babies born in that year were to mothers under the age of 20. (http://bit.ly/1dSyDfb, http://bit.ly/1dvhlIw)

This week’s theme: Babies and Childbirth

4 responses to “Young mothers

  1. Abel de Carvalho

    7 years Ago

    The statistic is interesting but it would be even more if we knew how many of these ladies were unmarried mothers. My wife was 19 when we got married and had a baby by age 20. Nothing wrong with this but unmarried mothers is a different ball game especially if not self-supporting.

  2. Neville Berkowitz

    7 years Ago

    Well done Abel because this is the root of the poverty cycle trap in South Africa and in other countries where over 70% of children are born to unwed and unsupported mothers who are children themselves.The baby is now handicapped in so many ways and is expected to overcome so many more hardships than children born to married , hopefully, more financially stable parents who can fully develop their children’s dreams and aspirations.The children born to unwed young mothers eventually have to stand in line in the employment queue and their chances of success of finding a decent paying job is so much more difficult than children born into conventional marriages where both parents can develop and nurture a child’s development and potential.
    Hat’s off to those children of unwed and unsupported young mothers who have managed to overcome those handicaps and hardships and I am proud to include a few of them among my friends.They are fiercely determined and committed people and who knows what more they could have achieved if they did not have to dig themselves out of the hole of poverty first and had a start from a level playing field that many of us take for granted.
    I have a friend from Malawi who immigrated to South Africa and was appalled at the number of unwed mothers which he says would have been a disgrace for the whole village he came from in Malawi if one of the young unmarried girls became pregnant.
    In South Africa these lessons of “correct” sexual behaviour need to be taught in the home but if the home is managed by a young unmarried mother then the lesson has far less impact on the children even if it is taught.
    We need a solution to this, as I said at the outset, it is a primary cause of the poverty cycle trapping young people to less than wonderful lives and, to be quite brutal, to lives we see on most street corners in Johannesburg as beggars.

  3. Jessica

    7 years Ago

    Thanks for your comments Abel and Neville, you both raise some very interesting points!

  4. Abel de Carvalho

    7 years Ago

    Hi Neville, I fully agree with everything you stated. Well done to those, who despite being born into poverty and raised by unwed mothers with no means, but despite all the handicaps still manage to pull themselves above the crowd.

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