Female headed household and poverty in the North West Province, South Africa
Rapoo-Pheelwane, Providence Kelebogile
MetadataShow full item record
A historical overview of families in South Africa reveals that significant changes have occurred over the years, brought about by historical as well as changing socioeconomic conditions. These changes have contributed to the transformation of the family structure and family relations, leading to the proliferation of female-headed households and the resultant poverty in these households. The main objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of poverty in female-headed households using income as a measure of poverty, and identify factors that might predict poverty in such households. Data was obtained from the 2011 census conducted in South Africa. Chi-square statistic was used to examine differentials in poverty status of female-headed households while the logistic regression model was used to identify predictors of poverty in female-headed households. The study revealed that female-headed households in the North-West Province are predominantly poor. More than 80% of all households studied earned less than 30,000 per annum, which was considered to be low and categorised as poor. The bivariate results showed that low household income was significantly associated with age of the female head, population group, level of education, place of residence, employment status, source of water, type of household toilet facility, availability of electricity, sources of fuel for heating, household size and house ownership. At the multivariate level, the results revealed that the most important determinants or predictors of poverty at individual level were age of women, level of education, place of residence and level of employment. At the level of household, the findings revealed that availability of household electricity and household size were predictors of poverty among female-headed households in the North West Province. It is, therefore, concluded that there is an increase in female-headed households in the Province. Consistent with evidence elsewhere, the increase in female-headed households in the North West Province has been associated with and led to poverty. The main factors predicting higher levels of poverty in female-headed households are age group of women, place of residence, employment status, marital status and household size. From the findings of the study, it is recommended that the following interventions needs urgent implementation to mitigate the poverty situation in such households: more opportunities for employment of women heading households; greater opportunities for education and skills training of members of female-headed households to enable them enter the job market; more support systems for young females (by increasing the amount of child and destitute grants to support their families more effectively); and greater access of poor families to essential services such as housing, food, energy and water to mitigate the impact of poverty on such households through exemption from paying certain services or subsidisation.
- Humanities