Surviving Single Motherhood In Cameroon
Struggling but enduring, a story of single motherhood in Cameroon
The death of a husband often means hardship for many single mothers in Central Africa. Often, they show incredible resilience to rise above such difficult circumstances to break the cycle of stigma. Assanatou is just one mother.
She felt desperate after her husband died from a long-term illness. Left alone to care for her children, she wondered how she could make ends meet on her own.
“Some women like me were married very young without going to school or having the chance to do certain training,” says 37-year-old Assanatou. “Coming back to square one after losing a husband, with no one to support you with the children is tough.”
Such is the situation of most women in the Central Part of Africa, this became worse when the first wave of Covid-19 hit the central belt of Africa as fathers died, and so did mothers’ struggles start.
Despite the difficult circumstances, most women in Central Africa do not give up. “I had to be there for my children,” they say. “Other single mothers like me turn to prostitution to provide for their children. I didn’t want to go down that path.”
High-rate of underemployment
In Cameroon, 39% of the population lives below the poverty line, a rate that rises to 51.1% for women alone, according to UN figures. Like Assanatou, nearly 80% are underemployed.
The reality for widows can be more difficult, as they can find themselves distant from family. A 2016 study on widowhood and women’s rights in Cameroon by Dr. Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta of the University of Gothenburg stated that “while the family has absolute ownership of land, women and widows are considered as non-family members by both their natal groups and the kinship group into which they get married.” Legal gaps in Cameroon negatively impact women’s rights, the study found.
Kemmongue Foundation Aim
we aim to provide funds for a business startup for women going through these challenges, those we have interacted with show great effort to support their families through menial jobs. They have proposed small trades that they can excel in, with your help and donation we can assist them setup these small enterprises through which their children can have a chance at life