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Cameroon

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

The Republic of Cameroon is a diverse West African country with customs that promote high fertility. Women in the formal sector receive maternity benefits. Tribal norms and religion influence gender roles and rituals. Contraceptive use is low; some prenatal care is common. Women's educational attainment is lower than men's, but women have been active in Cameroon's independence and pro-democracy movements.

Cameroonian mothers have an average of 4.41 children. Government pronatalist policies shifted in the late 1980s to raise awareness of problems of limited resources and a high birth rate.

Cameroon's labor legislation protects pregnant women's right to work and paid maternity leave of 14 weeks. Only a small percentage of women, those employed in the formal sector, are eligible.

The Civil Code recognizes fault-based divorce, and divorced parents ...

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