Patriarchy and Poverty and the Effect it has had on Land Ownership and Housing of the Women: A Case Study in Badirile South Africa


  • Gloria Sauti University of South Africa



land, women, patriarchy, poverty, marginalization, land tenure, RDP homes, social cohesion


Housing is a fundamental human right and a home provides independence, stability and dignity. If women do not own land or homes, it renders them powerless. The majority of South African rural women are historically poor, illiterate or semi-illiterate, and have had no land ownership rights. Unable to make a living in the traditional male-dominated and underdeveloped rural areas, they migrate to white-owned farms, towns or the cities. This article is based on an extensive study of the women of Badirile, a semi-urban “black township” near Randfontein, east of the Johannesburg metropolitan area. I explored the plight of women living here over a period of three years, through qualitative analysis and as a participant observer. I analysed the many problems faced by these women who “escaped” from rural areas in search of better living conditions, only to remain marginalised, homeless and trapped in poverty. Lacking knowledge about their legal rights, they are denied access to land, secure housing and adequate homes. The research showed that this homelessness and all its subsequent consequences cannot be divorced from both historical and current issues.

Author Biography

Gloria Sauti, University of South Africa

Gloria Sauti is currently a lecturer at the University of South Africa.  Previously, she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Archie Mafeje Research Institute at the University of South Africa.  During the same period, she was Inter-Disciplinary Post-Doctoral Research Coordinator for the College of Graduate Studies. She worked as Educator and later as Supervisor for the Department of Education’s ABET in South Africa while pursuing her doctoral studies, at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS). Before that, she worked at the department of Student Affairs at the University of Stellenbosch for two years while pursuing her Master’s degree at WITS.  She holds postgraduate qualifications in International Relations, Law and Social Anthropology. She has peer reviewed various articles as well as doctoral proposals, including conference proposals for the World Bank. She has authored several papers (some which will be published in 2018).



How to Cite

Sauti, Gloria. 2019. “Patriarchy and Poverty and the Effect It Has Had on Land Ownership and Housing of the Women: A Case Study in Badirile South Africa”. Africanus: Journal of Development Studies 48 (1):15 pages.



Received 2018-03-21
Accepted 2018-10-09
Published 2019-01-04