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Alleviating the Women's Poverty: Effectiveness of Constitutional interventions in Rural South Africa - Essay Example

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Full Name: Student Number: Date: Course: TA: Alleviating the Women’s Poverty: Effectiveness of Constitutional interventions in Rural South Africa Introduction Poverty is defined as the “inability of individuals, households or entire communities to command sufficient resources to satisfy a socially acceptable minimum standard of living” (May 5)…
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Alleviating the Womens Poverty: Effectiveness of Constitutional interventions in Rural South Africa
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"Alleviating the Women's Poverty: Effectiveness of Constitutional interventions in Rural South Africa"

Download file to see previous pages Nevertheless the rural, urban and national poverty in countries such as Zimbabwe had been increasing till late 1990s (Sahn and Stifel, n. p.). Key government interventions aimed at reducing poverty in South Africa can be listed as (a) increasing food and nutrition availability, (b) improving Social Services, (c) strengthening rural banking systems and (d) creating employment opportunities. Such government policies and the mainstream constitutional framework prevailing in South African region have been acknowledged as satisfactory by the World Bank. However, sever inequalities occur with respect to the distribution of benefits from recent economic developments and welfare programs across the economy (Okoji and Marais, n. p.). Majority of the poor, i.e. 70 percentage proportion of the total, in these regions are women. Gender, race and social class based discriminations discourage these individuals from accessing the productive economic resources (Chant 168). As a result, poverty related statistics in the region shows following distinguished characteristics; (1) poverty incident is high among female labors, “female lead” households and children of “female lead” families (2) extreme poverty and persisting poverty incidents are high among the women, and (3) women find lifting out from the status of poverty, more difficult (Kehler). Studies reveal that children raised in poor households prove to have a higher probability of repeating the cycles of poverty and disadvantage. The prominence of female-headed households among the poorer sections of society is increasing (Chant 172). Therefore UN agencies identify the importance of integrating poverty and gender in development programs and conceptualizing poverty models, by incorporating gender perspective. The World Bank poverty statistics reveal that socioeconomic standards in the South African region are still far below the world averages despite the temporal improvement recorded in poverty statistics. Example: out of 10 million rural households in Nigeria, almost 8.4 million fall under the extreme poverty (Okoji 62). Furthermore, the child and maternal mortality rates in South Africa had been increased since early 1990s. The life expectancy in 2008 had been 12 years lower than in 1996. Common fatal illnesses prevailing among the rural poor include AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics. Studies also reveal that there is a positive correlation between the status of poverty and occurrence of Common Mental Disorders (CMD) in Low and Middle Income countries. Poor women in rural areas are highly vulnerable to these psychological health issues due to the mounting responsibilities in household. Therefore, inclusion of mental health programs in the national development policy agendas can significantly contribute to the wellbeing of women in these regions (Lund et. al., n. p.). In this essay I will argue that government policies inadequately address the thrust areas of poverty in South Africa. These thrust areas include (1) encouraging gender based “co-responsibilities” within family settings (2) removing inefficiencies in implementing the poverty alleviating programs, and (3) increased socio-economic vulnerabilities of poor due the contemporary global changes. Literature Review Various approaches are used for conceptualizing p ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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