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FATHERHOOD “The female factor” Issue 4 - May 2012
“The female factor”
Issue 4 - May 2012

The KEY RING is a monthly publication by the Kampala Baptist Church Men’s Ministry that seeks to provide an avenue where men can share knowledge and understanding of the word of God, experiences, encourage one another as the older men also perform the act of ‘paralambano’ to the younger men. Our prayer is that the Lord will speak to you through these publications.

This month, we take time to analyse the impact the female factor has had on the institution of fatherhood

My father used to sit under the muvule tree on Sundays in the com- pound, reading the newspaper. He always made sure he gave me the children's page so I could color it up and when he bought me toys (which was once in a yellow moon) it would be guns, cars or boots. In contrast, when my mum would buy me stuff, it would be teddy bears which is the reason I always fought with my elder sister.

A slight smile lingered on my face at this comparison; why was mum's

thinking about the things that I liked and needed so different from dad's? Though sadly they later separated, each had their own specific

input into my life that would later shape me into the per- son that I am and the father I am going to be.

For example: the male, female nurse ratio at the children's ward at Mulago Hospital is 1:12; that of male to female teachers in kindergarten is 1:10 with that of lower primary at 3:6.*

The importance of the first five years of a child's life have been acknowledged by economists, behavioral psychologists, biologists, educators and more pro- fessions than we have space for. The impact of those first few years is so enormous that individuals, families and institutions later depend on it. This importance can't be over emphasized.

Economic factors however certainly affect fathers’ involvement in the family and in turn his ability to be a great father. In many parts of the world, men work hundreds of Kilometers away from their homes in order to provide sufficiently for their families. Many others have to work long hours, often in two jobs just to keep their families afloat. Under such circumstances, hands-on involve- ment with children is almost impossible (Presser, 1988). Therefore it turns out that when faced with the critical decision between staying close and strug- gling to support his family or moving further out to provide, many a man will opt for the dis- tance.

out to provide, many a man will opt for the dis- tance. while back, I called

while back, I called up my mum to wish her a happy mothers' day, I had total- ly forgotten but the media was


awash with amazing stories about mothers, my church even took out time to praise the wonderful institution of motherhood. I called her up to thank her, and as is my way of doing things, I called up my dad to thank him too and somehow we started having a discussion on the meaning of motherhood and fatherhood.

When fatherhood is mentioned, it is generally portrayed as a guy-only institution. If it were a university, all the students, teachers, teaching-assistants: basically everyone would be male.

Truth is, fellow men can teach you a lot of things, but they can't teach you how to handle your daughter when she is having PMS; they can't teach you how to notice the new hair style on her head when Manchester United is about to lose the title fight and as a child they don't tell you that when you hit a girl and are always pushing her around on the compound, it might be that you like her.

The ratio of females present in the lives of children compared to men is staggering especially in our culture; most house-helps are female, so are most Sunday school teachers, nursery school teachers and lower primary teachers, the list goes on!

Another psychologist John Bowlby suggested that in the early years of a child's life, they are most likely to get attached to one individual at a time, and in most of these cases it will be the mother since she best responds to its needs. While in this phase, all that seems to be left for the man to do is pay the bills and wait on the mother. This seems to be the way nature has designed it to be.

Culture too, seems (although this is slowly changing) to support this. Child rearing appears to be a female job. If the baby wails when in its fathers' hands, he will quickly hand it back to its mother (because in an average man’s mind, when a baby cries, it needs to be breast fed). Also, in most species the nurturing role appears to come more naturally to the females compared to the males!

So, is all lost for the men? Should we hang up our boots and give up; after all, it seems both natural and culturally convenient for the women to spend more time with the children?

Picture is of Pastor Francis Kironde Mayinja with his daughter Melody and son Dennis Kironde *Research was done by Eugene Kavuma

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

22nd June - Worship Night at KBC


29th - Prayer night at the Kasanas’

30th - June Sunrise Walk

Plea s e p la n to b e pa rt o f th es e won d erf u l times of f ello ws h ip

Kasanas’  30th - June Sunrise Walk Plea s e p la n to b e
Kasanas’  30th - June Sunrise Walk Plea s e p la n to b e
What do you think?

What do you think?

What do you think?

How was your institution of fatherhood affected by the female factor? We want to hear from you. Please also tell us what you think, what you want the next issues to address. we value your feed back.

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you want the next issues to address. we value your feed back. Write to us using
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