13 February 2013

Liberia: 'Ignoring Society's Value Breeds Single Parenting'

A political science lecturer at the University of Liberia, Ms. Valerie Johnson has described single parenting, which is a male or female parent raising a child or children without the presence of the spouse as a serious problem in the Liberian society.

"Single parenting is increasingly becoming a social problem in Liberia on a daily basis, as evidenced by the number of wayward children on the streets of Monrovia," she said.

In an exclusive interview with The Informer newspaper at her Capitol Hill office on the Campus of the University of Liberia recently, the political science lecturer asserted that growing single parenting rate in Liberia is a very serious problem, adding that several reasons are responsible for it, including non-compliance with society norms.

Mss. Johnson explained that single parenting has a very long history as it dates back to the industrial Revolution in Europe. "It was observed that at an earlier age many things can happen to women such as unwanted pregnancy which often results into single parenting. Young girls and boys were found alone caring for their children.

Miss Johnson added that the affected women in most cases seek employment, but their salaries were not enough to sustain them. Consequently, a lot of single mothers engage in prostitution in Western countries which gives them more money than salaries received for services rendered on jobs at that time.

She said men who found themselves in the single parenting situations have to work harder so that they can be able to sustain themselves and cater to their children instead of engaging in prostitutions.

Miss Johnson added that these constrains force some people to abandon their children to the streets, which creates serious society problems.

She maintained that in Liberia, a report from the Liberia Institute of Geo Services (LISGIS) states that single parenting is at an alarming rate as a result of spouses neglecting partners with children.

According to Miss Johnson, most of the single parents are females who have no career, causing them to engage in either sex for money, or in some other tedious businesses that cannot give them chance to spend much time with their child or children.

The UL lecturer is therefore calling on the Government to revisit the book of law governing this nation, which is the National Constitution to find out if there is any law there to control the ugly behaviors of men leaving women with child, or women leaving men with their child.

She said if such laws exist, then there is a need to have them enforced to the letter; or if they do not exist, government should ensure that such laws are enshrined in the constitution with strong worded penalties that obliges the population to respect the norms of the society.

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