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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Family Structure, Gender and Fertility in Botswana
Author:Gaisie, Samuel K.
Periodical:Pula: Botswana Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0256-2316)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Subjects:female-headed households
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Health and Nutrition
Cultural Roles
Family Life
Fertility and Infertility
Sex Roles
Family structure
fertility rate
income distribution
Household formation
Abstract:The 1991 Botswana census data reveal that about 60 percent of women in the childbearing age range (15-49 years) had borne children but had never been married. This paper assesses the extent to which family or household structure influences reproductive behaviour and the implications of the newly emerging family forms for socialization and schooling of the young in Botswana. Analysis of census and survey data indicates that the old traditional nuclear and/or extended family structures have been gradually replaced, to a large extent, by the 'zero-couple' or single-parent family or household type, which constitutes about 70 percent of the households in Botswana. And 90 percent of these are headed by a female. These households receive much lower average monthly incomes and are the poorest in the country. Nevertheless, the women in these households exercise greater autonomy. The locus of the decisionmaking process with regard to the number of children and the use of resources is the woman herself. And this autonomy has played a major role in the ongoing fertility transition in Botswana. However, the absence of male role models in these households does not augur well for the socialization of the children, particularly the boys. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]