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The Gendered Reality of Motherhood: My Mother's Lived Experiences

Jane F. A. Rarieya


The dynamics of gender and motherhood have widely been discussed in research, which has largely explored these concepts in the context of work inequities. Little has been done in exploring women’s personal lives and the impact of motherhood on their gendered identities. This essay examines the intersection of gender and motherhood through a reflective narration by a daughter. In so doing, I explore women’s position in a Kenyan ethnic community relational to motherhood. In particular, through a presentation of various events, I examine my mother’s relationship with motherhood and the dynamics of its values and interrogate the rewards and costs of motherhood and mothering. Through this examination, I demonstrate how my mother locates herself consciously and sub-consciously, physically and emotionally within the confines of patriarchal constructions that traditionally dictate strict and gender constraints. The effects of my mother’s motherhood experiences on my persona, from a gender perspective, are also presented.


Gender; Motherhood; Gender and motherhood; Gender and parenting; Gender and mothering

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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