Women in rural development programmes in Swaziland : a focus on the influence of time and access to labour-saving technology on women's participation

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Tyobeka, Jennipher D.
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This study examines Swazi women's role in the development of their country, and focusses specifically on their participation in rural development programmes for women. With regard to their involvement in these programmes, two assumptions, which appear in the literature on women's role in development and on which planning of women's development projects in Swaziland has been based, are subjected to empirical testing. These presuppositions are: (a) That women are constrained by lack of free time from engaging in activities in their communities and (b) That access to labour-saving devices enables women to save time in performing their domestic tasks, which may then be reallocated to development efforts and other interests outside the home. Further, the influence of other (socio-economic and demographic) variables on women's participation in rural development programmes, i.e. age, fertility, homestead income and educational attainment are also investigated in this research. The data collected reveal that access to labour-saving devices may enable women to save time in carrying out their domestic responsibilities. However, free time gained in' this manner might not necessarily lead to an increase in women's rate of participation in rural development programmes, since no relationship between free time and participation was established in this study. This research also did not provide any evidence to demonstrate that there was any relationship between the above-named socio-economic and demographic variables and participation. Hence, these findings constitute a challenge, to the two assumptions stated earlier. Having found no indication in this study that participation may be related to factors such as age, fertility, homestead income and educational level, the dissertation suggests areas of further research to determine which factors may actually influence women's participation in rural development programmes in. Swaziland, for the purpose of understanding these women's needs and problems more fully.
Women -- Swaziland. , Women in rural development -- Swaziland