Gender and Behaviour

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Exploring socio-economic challenges faced by female headed households in rural districts: The case of Manama village, Matebeleland South Province in Zimbabwe

Tsoaledi Thobejane, Nkazimulo Abigail Nyathi


In most developing countries, poverty is concentrated in female headed households especially in rural areas. To understand this phenomenon this study investigated the socio-economic challenges faced by female headed households in Manama village, Matabeleland South province, Zimbabwe. This study was informed by feminist theoretical approaches of conducting research as it employed several qualitative research methods that provide evidence that Female headed households face numerous socio-economic challenges. The findings of the study were drawn from 14 participants whose challenges, perceptions and attitudes were studied to gain information about rural based Female Headed Households as a whole. This study concludes by making recommendations, for gender mainstreaming in policy, agricultural extension services for Female headed households, creation of markets, counselling and psychosocial support. This research contends that although these women find themselves in a patriarchal frame by being self-asserted they have decided to outgrow it and be autonomous as they fight the socio-economic challenges they face.

Keywords: Challenges, Female headed households, Feminization of poverty, Strategies, Vulnerability

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