Women and livelihoods : a qualitative study of the impact of land acquisition on livelihood strategies for female land beneficiaries in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
This study considers the relationships between women and land amongst female land owners in two communities within KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Motivated by the lack of qualitative data surrounding women as land beneficiaries, this study focuses on the extent to which land and land ownership effect women’s livelihood strategies and how such assets contribute to and/or limit women’s practical and strategic needs. Although this study supports data suggesting that women’s access to land and land ownership is slowly increasing, it suggests that the positive effects of land on women’s lives are greatly limited by poor access to basic services and agricultural inputs, and lingering patriarchal cultural norms. Such limitations, combined with low education levels amongst women regarding their land rights, have thus far hindered the South African Department of Land Affairs in meeting its targeted goals of poverty reduction and livelihood improvements.