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Title:Gendered Home-Based Care in South Africa: More Trouble for the Troubled
Author:Akintola, OlagokeISNI
Periodical:African Journal of AIDS Research
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:gender division of labour
women's health
health care
Sex Roles
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Labor and Employment
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2989/16085900609490385
Abstract:This study investigates the experiences of informal caregivers of people living with HIV in two Zulu-speaking semi-rural communities near Durban, South Africa. Ethnographic methods were used to collect and analyse data on the gendered nature and consequences of home-based care from 21 primary caregivers and 20 volunteer caregivers as well as 10 key informants in 2002-2003. It was generally women who were poor, unemployed and unmarried who combined the caregiving role with their traditional role as homemaker and that of being the household head and breadwinner. The caregivers experienced physical strains and emotional problems, and were at elevated risk of being infected with HIV and TB. Men were largely absent in HIV/AIDS-affected homes and usually did not assist because of rigid gendered divisions of labour. Home-based care, by creating a disproportionate burden on women, is exacerbating existing gender inequities. It is argued that a thorough understanding of how home-based care undermines the physical health and psychological well-being of already vulnerable women is crucial for informing policies on home-based care. Thus, there is a need to incorporate gender perspectives when planning and implementing home-based care programmes. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]