Episode five of “Decisions We Make” delves into the impact of absent fathers on individuals and society as a whole. Exploring the reasons behind fatherlessness and its consequences, we discuss the importance of positive male role models and initiatives that aim to strengthen family structures and support children growing up without a father figure.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of fatherless children in the world. According to the 2017 Statistics South Africa General Household Survey, 61.8% of children under the age of 18 are fatherless, which is concerning. According to one notion, fatherless children are more vulnerable to emotional disorders such as depression. Girls are more likely to have low self-esteem, which can lead to earlier and riskier sexual behavior, teenage pregnancies, early marriage, and divorce. Extreme violence is more common in males who were raised without a father. Absent fathers are a serious issue in South Africa that must be addressed, given the negative developmental effects of father absence and the beneficial effects of a strong, loving father or father figure.