Adultery appears to be among the main reasons for the high number of single-parent households headed by women in the British Virgin Islands, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said while citing interviews it conducted with people locally.
It reported interviewees as saying that husbands having extra-marital affairs with young women has become “common and socially accepted” in the territory.
UNICEF noted the findings in a 2016 report tabled in the House of Assembly this month entitled Situation Analysis of Children in the British Virgin Islands.
It said: “Social norms are one possible explanation for the elevated number of single-parent households headed by women. According to the interviewees, it is common and socially accepted in the territory that older men have affairs outside marriage, usually with younger girls. And, in some cases, children are born from these relationships.”
“Also, according to the interviewees, some of these mothers are non-belongers who initially came to the territory with work authorizations, became pregnant, and were then abandoned by the fathers of the children,” added the international organization.
It noted that single-parent households accounted for 13.6 percent of the households in the territory in 2010. UNICEF also cited the 2010 census as reporting that the vast majority (83 per cent) of single-parent households were headed by women.
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