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Women in war-torn societies: A study of households in Luanda's peri-urban areas.

Ducados, Henda Lucia (2007) Women in war-torn societies: A study of households in Luanda's peri-urban areas. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Mainstream literature on conflict has focused mainly on its impact on macro-economic and social spheres. Relatively little attention has been paid to social and economic transformation at the micro-level, such as that of households and household headship in particular. Given the need to gain a greater understanding of how households go about guaranteeing their survival, this study looks at how households are structured, and how livelihoods are secured, with particular reference to Luanda's peri-urban areas. Special attention is given in this study to female-headed households, due to the debate around the issue of their social and economic vulnerability and the fact that little is known about female headship in war-torn societies. One of the principal findings of this study is that conflict may influence household arrangements, and perhaps even create possibilities for the greater emancipation of women. The study seeks to identify the nature of possible changes and determine how these take place, with particular reference to trends in household structure and women's choices vis-a-vis whether to remain partnered or not. Three low-income communities were selected for the study in Luanda peri-urban areas, in which three hundred households were interviewed with a questionnaire. Semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and life stories were also conducted with a sub-sample of female and male respondents. The study argues that policy frameworks for war-torn societies should address the complexity of household arrangements and the heterogeneity of household headship in order to develop policies that better address the needs and interests of people at the grassroots.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Women's Studies, Sub Saharan Africa Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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