Transport, gender and agricultural development : a case study of the Capricorn District Limpopo Province South Africa.
Mmakola, Lulu Knightingale.
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Agricultural development, in Africa is seen as a vital tool for combating poverty in many households. In this thesis, agricultural development is thus seen as one of the ways in which the Millennium Development Goals 1 & 3 can be achieved. Moreover, the researcher hopes to show the link between transport and the possibilities of socio-economic development in the agricultural sector if and when transportation is facilitated. Furthermore, the need for gender equality and women’s empowerment will be emphasized in agricultural activities, particularly labour. The study draws from two women-led projects namely, the Lahlapapadi Goat Project and Kwadikwaneng Nursery in the Capricorn District of Limpopo, South Africa. To achieve the objects of this enterprise, the following tasks are undertaken. Firstly, the role of transport in women-led projects is investigated and described, particularly as regards to its possible impact on women lives. Secondly, reasons as to why women despite playing a large role in agricultural production receive very limited recognition. And thirdly, an assessment as to whether women receive adequate support from both the agricultural and transport departments for their agricultural activities is conducted. The broader context of historical ideologies around which gender roles in society are shaped will also be examined with a particular emphasis on transportation so as to show the extent to which such ideologies pose a threat to the development of women-led agricultural projects. To realize the broader objective and its underlying tasks, the researcher adopted qualitative feminist methodologies. These employ in-depth interviews, focus group discussions in conjunction with visual techniques involving photography and videography. The study’s findings revealed that women are largely not recognized for their labour due to socio-cultural factors, such as patriarchy and subsequent gender stereotyping, that force women to continue in their traditional household roles. Furthermore, transport was found to be an important tool for the improvement of food security and economic status in the lives of women particularly when it complemented the agricultural activities of rural women.