The rate of dead beat dads in Kenya is ever increasing, with many women left to bear the burden of raising a child alone.
A demographic health survey released in 2017 revealed that the Eastern region of Kenya led with the highest rate of single motherhood at 27.6 percent, followed by Coast region at 23.2% then Central followed at 23.2%.
A good number of irresponsible fathers get away from their responsibilities.
While there are legal ways to compel a father to support his child, many single mothers shy away from pursuing legal action and those who start, end midway.
I spoke to several women in these circumstances and they provided me their reasons as to why they are not pursuing legal action.
- It’s demanding
Gladys took Dennis, his baby daddy, to court who cooperated for three months before he stopped supporting.
“The process just wore me out. I had to keep chasing after Dennis for support and would be in frequent contact with lawyers to report his absconding responsibilities. Other times police would ask me for a bribe so as to arrest Dennis. I put much energy and time into that matter until I felt it was not worth it,” said Gladys.
- It cost money
Esther with the same circumstances tried pursuing legal action but soon stopped before even starting.
“I had to file the case at a children’s court and hire lawyers which was simply out of my reach. I was not in stable employment and did not have the money to pursue that, so I just let go of that idea,” Esther said.
- It is chaotic
Maggy, who claims that she still felt for her ex, did not want to engage in the push and pull of court proceedings.
“I still love him and pray that he would come back to our lives. I can not imagine us fighting in court over money. I don’t have the energy as well. I’d rather maximize on my little and have peace of mind.