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Botswana

  • By: Bantu L. Morolong
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In Botswana, motherhood is a central, multilayered role within the sociocultural institutions of marriage and the family. In this context, marriage, family, childbearing, and child rearing are intertwined. Traditionally, marriage was almost compulsory, and so was childbearing. However, the Setswana (the traditional people of Botswana), which was mainly founded on marriage, has been transformed into many different family forms: These include single parents; cohabitant families; and blended, adoptive, and foster families, with the single mother family as the most common and a growing phenomenon in Botswana.

African women marry at a much earlier age than women elsewhere. For Botswana, the average age at first marriage up to the late 1990s was 26 years for women, compared to earlier decades when girls married as early as 20 ...

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