n Gender and Behaviour - Rural women and land, the inseparable twins : a case of South Africa

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



Land is a socio-economic resource that is critical in the livelihoods of rural people. Despite this reality, rural women in South Africa continue to be marginalised in policy formulation, implementation and other land related processes owing to patriarchal dictates, cultural norms and values that seem to preserve the status quo. The current article argues that since women constitute the bulk of the labour force in the farming sector, are heavily involved in subsistence farming, reside mostly in the rural areas and are the country's poorest makes their participation in land processes more compelling. Failure to incorporate women in such processes impacts negatively on their development. Firstly, the article briefly discusses the land question in relation to women in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Further, the importance of land to the livelihoods of rural women is addressed. The article further discusses the land related challenges that rural women in post-apartheid South Africa still face. The paper concludes by proposing ways that are likely to strengthen women's position in land processes.

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