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Gender, generation and urban living conditions in southern Africa

Edited book
Authors Ann Schlyter
Faustin Kalabamu
Matseliso Mapetla
ISBN 99911-3141-8
Publisher Institute of Southern African Studies (ISAS), National University of Lesotho
Place of publication Roma, Lesotho
Publication year 2005
Published at Department of Environmental and Regional Studies of the Human Condition, Centre for Global Studies
Language en
Keywords gender, urbanization, southern Africa
Subject categories Gender Studies


To adapt to urban conditions and establish a decent and sustainable life, women and men in the recently urbanized areas of Southern Africa develop, negotiate and renegotiate new relationships and spaces between genders and generations at household and community levels. Growing poverty, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and changing socioeconomic and household demographic structures have made the struggle more difficult than ever before. They have forced the elderly and young people to take up unexpected roles and responsibilities. Living arrangements have changed, grandmother- and child-headed households are new phenomena, and gender and intergenerational boundaries have been crossed. How has urbanization and the above processes influenced the way women and men relate to each other in their everyday life? How do they view gender-specific rules and practices? How are relations of power, access and control over resources worked out? How do these relations affect generational and intergenerational support? How are gender, generational culture, social and legal underpinnings on the meaning and use of resources and living spaces adapted to urban environments?

This book, published under the Gender Research on Urbanization Planning Housing and Everyday Life (GRUPHEL) Programme within the Institute for Southern African Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Lesotho, addresses some of these issues. Using gender, generation and concepts of social justice as the basis and tools for analyzing the research data, the 12 papers in this volume address how the GRUPHEL themes relate to the everyday living experiences of respondents.

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