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Impact of South Africa’s home community-based care on female caregivers’ livelihoods and empowerment

Wong, Yen Nee (2017) Impact of South Africa’s home community-based care on female caregivers’ livelihoods and empowerment. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Public work programs (PWPs) gained increasing recognition among governments and international development agencies for their contributions towards women’s empowerment, combining aspects of (1) job creation, (2) skills development, (3) income generation, (4) service provision, and (5) credit from social protection into a single scheme. Of particular interest to the PWP community, consisting of development agencies, government agencies, donors, policy makers, community-based organisations, planners and evaluators, is the extent to which a social care agenda increases the gender responsiveness of PWPs in the Global South. I seek to investigate the above issue through examining the unique case of South Africa’s home community-based care (HCBC) programme, a social care service implemented as part of South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). South Africa’s EPWP is a pioneer in (and to date one of very few cases) adopting a social service dimension through the HCBC and Early Childhood Development (ECD) interventions. In this study, I question the impact of HCBC on community caregivers’ (mostly females) empowerment. Triangulating a systematic review of the literature against findings from my semi-structured interviews collected in Cape Town, South Africa, and background data from government reports, I evaluate the extent to which HCBC achieved its five action areas targeting women’s empowerment, in particular increased (1) access to employment opportunities, (2) employability, (3) income generation which promotes poverty alleviation, (4) community participation, and (5) access to service provision. My findings show the HCBC’s capacity to promote women’s economic and political empowerment to be constrained, albeit providing a partial route to socio-psychological empowerment through increasing women’s visibility and social recognition within the community and women’s self-esteem.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Additional Information: © 2017 Yen Nee Wong
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Gender Institute
Supervisor: Perrons, Diane

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