Exploring how women’s social capital in rural areas can inform the development of policy as a source of agency for empowerment
CITATION: Teleki, M. & Pillay, P. 2019. Exploring how women’s social capital in rural areas can inform the development of policy as a source of agency for empowerment. African Journal of Public Affairs, 11(2):128-146.
The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za
This article argues that social capital for purposes of women’s empowerment is important for developing policies that are aimed to uplift women and communities in rural areas. It is widely known that South Africa has entrenched notions of gender equality and women’s empowerment in constitutional law. The authors will illustrate the disjuncture between law and policy pertaining to the empowerment of women in rural areas of South Africa. This disjuncture could have a negative impact on the prospects of development for women who reside in rural areas of South Africa. The argument advanced is that the strengthening of policy for women’s empowerment in rural South Africa should be in tandem with the Constitution. In doing so, framing policy on women’s empowerment in South Africa should be strengthened with reference to the existing social capital held by women in rural areas. In other words, the enablement that comes with shared values and norms within women’s networks should inform policy as an agency for the empowerment of women in rural South Africa. This article is written at a time when South Africa goes through law reform on land and property rights, which have an effect on women who reside in rural areas. It will therefore speak to the type of policy that needs to be developed, referencing social capital in order to give effect to women’s empowerment in rural areas.