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Title:Housing and marginality for female-headed households: observations from Msunduzi Municipality (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa)
Authors:Goebel, AllisonISNI
Dodson, Belinda
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0008-3968)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:housing policy
female-headed households
urban housing
gender inequality
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00083968.2011.10541055
Abstract:South Africa's constitution enshrines the right to adequate housing, and policy since 1994 has attempted to address this issue. However, realities of poverty, rapid urbanization and limited resources for local authorities undermine the State's ability to meet housing needs. This article presents a case study from Msunduzi Municipality (formerly Pietermaritzburg) to evaluate State policy in the urban low-cost housing sector, particularly in terms of the needs of female-headed households. While subsidized housing allocation has successfully reached female-headed households, and recent policy documents acknowledge gendered housing needs, the situation on the ground remains problematic. Gender-based social and economic inequalities persist, and new government-subsidized housing suffers problems including inappropriate location, poor housing quality, and inadequate protection of tenure security. Applying a gender lens to housing highlights shortcomings in South African housing policy, while applying a housing lens to examine gender inequality demonstrates limitations to the transformative potential of gender mainstreaming in this sector. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]