Women, children and educare in Groutville: a feminist analysis of a community in KwaZulu-Natal.
Browning, Leanne Elizabeth.
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This thesis focuses on childcare at two levels. Firstly, at the broader level of theoretical debate and policy making, and secondly, by examining the way in which it impacts on the lives of women in a specific community in Natal. It locates the demands for childcare in a broader feminist discourse and examines the way in which the demand for childcare is being articulated and responded to at different levels in South Africa. Some of the key concerns of a feminist theory that form the basis of a gendered analysis of society are outlined. It is argued that there is a need to broaden the focus in discussions about the crisis in the provision of care and education of young children to include mothers and women at the centre of the debate. Patterns of childcare provision in South Africa up to and including the time that the research was carried out are examined. It is shown that access to care, and the extent and quality of provision varies in type and degree across regions, provinces and between different race and class groups. An exploration of some of the current policy debates at that time is provided. The research which was carried out in Groutville in 1989 formed part of a programme of community development. A socio-economic profile of Groutville is developed. A description of patterns of childcare strategies and womens' responsibilities within the home and the distribution of household tasks within the family in Groutville is examined. The significance of the research for policy in South Africa is then outlined, a brief assessment of the first phase of the research project is made and some suggestions which might improve the provision of childcare in areas such as Groutville are provided. I