Exploring the Experiences of Young Adult Women Growing up with Non-Resident Fathers in Tlokwe Local Municipality

Friday, 20 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Tebogo LOBAKA, University of South Africa, South Africa
South Africa has be second highest rate of non-resident fathers in Africa after Namibia. Studies indicate that one father out of two is absent in a child's life and 50% of all fathers between the ages 15-49 do not have daily contact with their children. This study examines the experiences of young adult women raised in non-resident father households in Tlokwe Local Municipality, North West. Focus groups and face-to-face interviews were conducted with 34 young women between the ages 18-25. Five important, nuanced themes emerged, these are: a) fathers who are physically present but emotionally absent, b) fathers who are physically present but uninvolved, c) fathers who are physically absent but involved, d) fathers who are physically present and involved and e) fathers who are absent and uninvolved. Non-resident fatherhood remains a challenge in the Tlokwe Municipality, most of the participants had never met their biological fathers. The study revealed the frustration young women feel towards their mothers and maternal grandparents for caring more about maintenance than they do about a healthy father-daughter relationship. The study further revealed a deep-seated need for close proximity and an involved type of fathering among the young women.