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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Growing up without parents: socialisation and gender relations in orphaned-child-headed households in rural Zimbabwe
Author:Francis-Chizororo, MonicaISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
rural households
gender roles
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057070.2010.507578
Abstract:The most distressing consequences of the HIV/AIDS pandemic's impact on children has been the development of child-headed households (CHHs). Child 'only' households challenge notions of the ideal home, family, and 'normal' childhood, as well as undermining international attempts to institute children's rights. The development of these households raises practical questions about how the children will cope without parental guidance during their childhood and how this experience will affect their adulthood. Drawing on ethnographic research with five child heads and their siblings, this article explores how orphaned children living in 'child only' households organize themselves in terms of household domestic and paid work roles, explores the socialization of children by children and the negotiation of teenage girls' movement. Further, it examines whether the orphaned children are in some way attempting to 'mimic' previously existing family/household gender relations after parental death. The study shows that all members in the CHHs irrespective of age and gender are an integral part of household labour including food production. Although there is masculinization of domestic chores in boys 'only' households, roles are distributed by age. On the other hand, households with a gender mix tend to follow traditional gender norms. Conflict often arises when boys control teenage girls' movement and sexuality. There is a need for further research on CHHs to better understand orphans' experiences, and to inform policy interventions. Ref., sum. [Journal abstract]