The ethnicity of development? Discourses shaping developmental politics in rural Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe
The focus of this study was to discuss the conditions of rural women in Matabeleland South, who are going through various levels of development challenges, marginalisation, exclusion and discrimination. More particularly the study focused on exploring the experiences of these women and the specific challenges they face in relation to their socio-economic realities and their ethnicity. The research objective of this study was to explore how rural women describe their situation in Matabeleland South with regards to the specific challenges they face in relation to their socio-economic realities and their ethnicity. An exploratory, qualitative approach was adopted because it is appropriate for getting first-hand information as it provides a platform for the researcher to explore participants’ experiences in detail. A focus group discussion and face to face interviews were conducted and data was analysed using Tesch (1990)’s approach to data analysis. Findings showed that Matabeleland South has been politically and ethnically excluded from mainstream development resulting in the province being among the poorest in Zimbabwe and the rural women are hardest hit.
Key terms: ethnicity, development, rural women, Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe, politics, socio-economic realities