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Zimbabwe

  • By: Susan Elizabeth de la Porte
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in sub-Saharan Africa, which in recent years has been characterized by widespread social change and upheaval. The process of mothering in Zimbabwe is constantly shifting in response to the changing socio-cultural, economic, health, and political dynamics of the country.

In 2003, life expectancy at birth in Zimbabwe was 36 years for women and 37 for men (among the lowest in the world). The total fertility rate was 3.9 (down from 5 in 1993), and the annual growth rate was 1.4 percent. Maternal mortality was 1,100 per 100,000 live births in 2000, and neonatal mortality was 33 per 1,000 live births.

Cultural Implications for Motherhood

Historically, as a dominantly patrilineal society—the majority of the population is Shona—all children in Zimbabwe traced their connection to ...

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