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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Invisible Hands: Women in Zimbabwe's Commercial Farm Sector
Author:Amanor-Wilks, DedeISNI
Periodical:SAFERE: Southern African Feminist Review (ISSN 1024-9451)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:work environment
agricultural workers
Development and Technology
Labor and Employment
Sex Roles
Women employees
Commercial farming
Vulnerable groups
Social behaviour
Abstract:The most invisible women in Zimbabwe today are the women working in commercial farming areas. They are invisible in politics, in economic calculations, in national census information, and in social structures. Women are employed on commercial farms because they are a source of cheap labour and because of their stabilizing effect on male labour. After a short history of women in farm employment, this article pays attention to one of the main consequences for these women of their marginal position on commercial farms: the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Many women, notably the most vulnerable among them, single unmarried and divorced women and widows, often have no option but to trade sex for food. Policies to improve the conditions of farm workers after independence have had limited impact on the lives of women. A starting point for ameliorating the status of women workers would be to improve the wages and working conditions of nonpermanent workers, since nearly half of all seasonal workers and an even higher proportion of contract workers are women. Bibliogr.