Motherhood in Institutions of Higher Learning: The Case of Public Universities in Kenya
Keywords:Motherhood, Classroom, Educational Institutions, Sacred, Ethnographic Approach, Afro-Feminist Lens
In many African societies and in the Old Testament in particular, motherhood is a blessing and a societal educational institution. While Eve is the mother of all the living, Kings shall come from Sarah (Gen. 3:20 & 17:16). By analogy, motherhood in the African traditional society was a sacred faculty of education. Unfortunately, in contemporary African it has become a life altering experience for many young ‘girls’ in institutions of higher learning. Unlike Sarah who gave birth in her old age as in Genesis 17:15-16; many girls in Kenya are giving birth before the age of eighteen. There has been emphasis on supporting ‘girls’ to attain university degrees. However, not much attention has been given to the socio-economic, psychological and gendered stereotypes that young girls go through while trying to balance between the classroom and motherhood in Kenyan Universities. Thus, this paper will use an ethnographic approach through an afro-feminist lens to propose that there is need to 1, have baby care centers in institutions of higher learning, 2 integrate secondary motherhood and parenthood tutorials in educational programs of higher learning, 3, and include financial support for young mothers in university budgets.