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Women, gender and development in a KwaZulu-Natal rural neighbourhood : towards establishing a social development practice model

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dc.contributor.advisor Pakati, E.R.V.
dc.contributor.author Buthelezi, Ruth Thandi.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-27T11:01:48Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-27T11:01:48Z
dc.date.issued 2001
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/663
dc.description Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Social Work at the University of Zululand, 2001. en_US
dc.description.abstract In the context of social development, the developmental perspective on Social Welfare, and gender equality (gender theory and gender analysis), an extensive literature and empirical study was undertaken, to explore the contribution of Social Work to the social and economic development of women as a special population of the poor in rural communities. Exploratory and descriptive research, using documents, interviews and direct observation, was used to study the rural neighbourhood, the demographic profiles of the general public and decision making participation of a sample of household heads and community leaders. From both the theoretical and empirical studies, it was evident that women's contribution to development was being systematically undervalued in the rural communities, and within households. Essential to this analysis was that there was an overall socio-cultural framework for stereotyping women's roles in rural communities. Not only were they overburdened by the multiple roles, their practical and strategic gender needs were marginalised, leading to their further subordination. In addition, as an institution of society, the way both the department of social welfare and population or department of social development and the social service system functioned, was influenced by institutionalized gender in equality actually many considerations of gender in relation to welfare and health tended to remain focussed on women as users or service providers (volunteers), rather than assessing how health and welfare or social services, reinforced gender in equalities and, in doing so undermined social justice while also at times undermining women's and family welfare. k At the local level, it was very apparent that all important decisions were made by men, especially those determining access and allocation of productive resources needed to survive. This study also revealed that local government and other service providers in rural areas often developed projects in a top-down fashion, where local people were informed or consulted, but were not expected to make decisions that would be acted upon. Local economic development (large scale government or heavily funded public works projects) were often treated as technical and administrative issues, with very marginal, if any, political and socio-economic considerations from the viewpoint of the disadvantaged majority, the women and the poor, in particular. In the latter even the tribal leaders were essentially marginalized. Based on the findings of the study, the thesis proposes a model, which provides a framework that is inclusive enough to serve both the clinical and community - work orientated social workers and generalist social workers. The polarization, where either the personal (individual) or the social (institutional) are emphasized at the expense of a holistic integrated consideration, is rejected. Instead, the feminist perspectives involving the reconceptualization of power, viewing the 'personal' as 'social' and the validation of people's experiences, interalia, are emphasized. Project planners should ensure the inclusion of multi-disciplinary teams with both males and females at all stages of the research process, that is, the problem identification, the design, the implementation and evaluation. Data must be disaggregated by socio-economic strata and gender, and there must be an examination of inter-household and intra-household processes, particularly in the spheres of decision making, responsibility and labour input. This is important because of the importance of empowerment of the individuals and groups to access resources they need, and to have a role in the production of personal and public services in order to improve the quality of their lives and that of their communities. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Community development. en_US
dc.subject Gender studies. en_US
dc.subject Women, gender and development en_US
dc.subject Gender equality en_US
dc.title Women, gender and development in a KwaZulu-Natal rural neighbourhood : towards establishing a social development practice model en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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