Parental and Other Caretaker Roles

Childcare is the primary responsibility of mothers, whether single or married. Instead of contracting customary and civil marriages, many women and men have multiple partners and children with those partners over a period of years. Because lobola (bridewealth) has not been exchanged, children from these relationships belong to the mother's family. However, in subsequent relationships, the boyfriend might be willing to support the woman and their children, but refuse to support children by a previous relationship. Those unsupported children might be sent to live with their maternal grandparents. The boyfriend might have a wife and/or other girlfriends. The displacement of these children, along with the AIDS epidemic, contributes to Swaziland's growing orphan population.

Secondary education is not free in Swaziland. Mothers often pay for their children's school fees, uniforms, and supplies. They are concerned about their children's education and view it as a key to their upward mobility.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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