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Challenges of Single Motherhood in Socio-Cultural Context: A Qualitative Study in Rural areas of Bangladesh


The growing number of divorces and separations induces the frequency of single mothers facing challenges in the mainstream socio-economic realities in Bangladesh. Past studies focused on structural aspects, economic hardship, and psychological issues of single mothers, mainly in the urban context. Nevertheless, the challenges in rural settings vary from urban single motherhood, and this aspect remains understudied. This qualitative narrative aims to analyse the challenges of single mothers in rural settings in Bangladesh. Twenty-eight in-depth interviews and ten key informant interviews were conducted using semi-structured interview guidelines. Thematic analysis identified four major themes of the rural single mothers’ challenges, social, economic, cultural, and psychological, leading a single mother to become dependent on other family members or relatives. The underlying factor of the challenges was the deprivation of property, patriarchal social structure, and social stigma. Rural single mothers face more complex challenges than urban ones because of the lack of income opportunities, insecurity, and self-dependencies. Findings will contribute to recommending and formulating a policy for the single mother considering the local realities of the rural single mothers in Bangladesh.



Single Mother, Rural Areas of Bangladesh, Patriarchy, Bangladesh



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