Absentee – Fathers Worry Men
By Damba Rogers
Leaders of the Uganda men’s forum are worried about the high numbers of absentee fathers in the country which stand at 25% noting that this is affecting child upbringing.
Addressing journalists in Kampala ahead of the international father’s day slated for 21st of this month, the CEO men’s forum Lauben Muhabuzi and Ndawula Robert, the program manager state that, based on the 2018 study carried out in the country, 40% fathers in Uganda have children in more than four wives whereas 25% are absentee fathers who have produced children and have completely neglected their responsibilities.
They further note that Kabale, Iganga, Wakiso, Jinja are among the district in Uganda with the highest numbers of absentee fathers.
However, Ruth Tusasirwe who represented the commissioner culture and family affairs in the gender, labor ministry reminds fathers always to own up their responsibilities to scale down on the growing number of mothers who have taken up the role of fathers in homes.
The fathers now demand that govt gazettes this day as a public holiday so as to make it fully recognized by the citizens.
The fathers now say Father-child relationships in all communities and at all stages of a child’s life have a profound and wide-ranging impact on children. The relationship also shapes young people for a lifetime.
However, fathers are concerned that no research or policy development has been done to understand and promote fathers’ involvement in raising up children.
According to Medicare advocacy publication 2015 dubbed, “State of Africa’s Fathers” the rate of fathers’ contribution to child development in Uganda is still extremely low.
The publication relates to the distribution of men and women’s time spent on unpaid care work. It indicates that women spend more time on unpaid work including raising up children as compared to men.
An absent parent refers to a non-custodial parent who is obligated to pay partial child support and who is physically absent from the child’s home. The term also refers to a parent who has abandoned his or her child and failed to maintain contact with the child.