The challenge of absent fathers

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The introduction of the State of South Africa’s Fathers 2018, a report compiled by Sonke Gender Justice and Human Sciences Research Council, talks about the colourful scope of different fathers we have in our country.

“There is no typical father in South Africa. There are many types of fathers and many types of fatherhood in the country. There are biological fathers, social fathers, gay fathers, straight fathers, young fathers and older fathers. We have self-identified fatherhood, ascribed fatherhood, long-distance fatherhood and proximal fatherhood, to name only a few. The texture is rich by age, race, class, geo- type, ethnicity or family type. Mothers, fathers and children experience a wide canvas of fatherhood portrayals,” the intro partly reads. 

We even have ATM fathers who pay for the needs of their children but don’t have a relationship with them. While the scope of fatherhood may be wide, the shocking reality is that many children are raised by their mothers and grandmothers alone because  South Africa is battling another scourge that has been passed on from generation to generation – absent fathers. 

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