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The total number of widows in India exceeds 33 million. Yet, despite the large number of women affected, little is known about their living conditions. Widows are…
The total number of widows in India exceeds 33 million. Yet, despite the large number of women affected, little is known about their living conditions. Widows are particularly vulnerable and deserve special attention within the study of public policy and economic development. This paper is based on an analytical research study conducted by interviewing 300 randomly selected rural widows of all age groups from rural parts of the Vidarbha region. An attempt is made to achieve better understanding of social and economic condition of widows, by focusing attention on widowhood as a social problem. This study explores the dominant ideological construction of widowhood in the context of patriarchy, religion, and customs. Nearly 69% widows were illiterate, 96% had economic problems, and 47% faced discrimination due to caste and religious obligations. Elderly widows constituted 49% of the sample, age had placed them in a difficult position to discrimination, dependence, oppression, and health problems. Among elderly widows there was a wide spread feeling of psychological neglect and isolation. The paper also discusses some key issues of social, economic policy, and action in support of widows’ property rights, social security, employment, social identity, and participation in society.
The study identifies factors that account for high levels of deprivation which includes limited freedom to remarry, insecure property rights, living arrangement of elderly, social stigma, restricted employment opportunities, and lack of social support. The study extensively deals with social work intervention aspects in helping the widows and discusses social, economic, and policy implications of the problems of widows.
This study examines variation in health-related coping strategies among the widowed by variation in bereavement, as modified by self-efficacy, religiosity, social support…
This study examines variation in health-related coping strategies among the widowed by variation in bereavement, as modified by self-efficacy, religiosity, social support, and self-rated health. Coping strategies are documented by gender, race, age, and income level, and the interaction of gender and race. Data are from the Changing Lives of Older Couples Study (CLOC), a longitudinal dataset from a random sample of older adults from the Detroit Metropolitan area. Bereavement is related to overall negative coping behavior, specifically to daily cigarette consumption and physical inactivity. However, the effect varies based on the gender, race, and age of the widowed, as well as type of moderator.
Purpose – This chapter attempts to understand the impact of war, conflict, and forced migration in the northwest border of India on the security of the aged widows and the…
Purpose – This chapter attempts to understand the impact of war, conflict, and forced migration in the northwest border of India on the security of the aged widows and the ways they respond, construct, and negotiate their lives.
Methodology – The study is based on group discussions in villages and camps and narratives of seven widowed women who were asked to tell the story of their lives.
Findings – The chapter highlights that widowed women's agency was exercised in a significant manner during the situations of war, conflict, and forced migration, but it was largely circumscribed by the intersection of patriarchy, rural structure, customary practices, and inheritance rights. New norms and new roles were taken up in the migrant camps, but village life with its traditional extended family structure was still considered ideal for the social security it provided. However, aged widows are no longer treated with respect and care, suggesting a decline in the traditional joint family system and of the dominant position of elderly widowed women in it. This was accelerated in conflict situations.
Research implications – The research calls for focusing on women's agency and moving beyond the victimhood paradigm in women's studies. It highlights the significance of individual interpretations of events and the relevance of qualitative methods such as life stories.
Value of chapter – The chapter is valuable for its work on themes such as rural life, gender, and conflict studies and for policy makers to initiate plans dealing with the problems of forced migrants and of the security of the older people, particularly widows.
Objective: to find out more about older men's experience of social activities including their preferences for creating and maintaining satisfying social connections and to…
Objective: to find out more about older men's experience of social activities including their preferences for creating and maintaining satisfying social connections and to identify barriers and enablers to their participation in social activities.Method: men aged 65 and older living in Central Sydney Area Health Service (CSAHS) were recruited for five focus groups (n=29). The men were asked about their experience of social interaction, with the transcripts of the groups analysed thematically.Results: retirement, health changes, divorce, widowhood and changing personal relationships challenged social well‐being. Strategies employed to combat these challenges included: a positive attitude, physical and mental activity and involvement in meaningful activities. Participants outlined their preferences for socialising within activities and suggested these differed from women's.Conclusion: activities that men saw as meaningful helped them cope with challenging events. Older men have preferred ways of maintaining social well‐being and constructing social networks that may be influential in developing services.
The recent spate of farmer’s suicide in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India has left many of those households in the charge of widows. These are the women left behind to…
The recent spate of farmer’s suicide in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India has left many of those households in the charge of widows. These are the women left behind to live for their children after their husband committed suicide, unable to bear the burden of their debts anymore. The surviving family members of those who killed themselves in distress are prone to depression and tend to have suicidal tendencies too. They are experiencing exclusion in day to day life. This research paper is based on empirical study. Hundred Respondents from Wardha district of Vidarbha region are interviewed. For these widows, life is a tale of suffering and Harassment. Their relations with their in-law soured to a great extent after their husband committed suicide. They have to struggle for basic human rights. They are facing physical, sexual, mental, emotional and economic exclusion in day-to-day life. Sexual exploitation is not a common occurrence, but it does exist. The mental and emotional violence is much more. According to them, ‘The humiliation is greater than the pain of husband’s suicide’. The village social system has many pitfalls for such women. Because of widowhood, in several arenas her quality of life and capabilities have worsened.
This paper deals with suffering and various aspect of social exclusion faced by widows of the farmer and the role of social fabric in handling these problems.
A small-scale study was conducted to qualitatively explore the “lived experiences” of persons who remarried between the ages of 55 and 75. Improved life expectancy, high…
A small-scale study was conducted to qualitatively explore the “lived experiences” of persons who remarried between the ages of 55 and 75. Improved life expectancy, high divorce rates, increased odds of being widowed over time, and the need for intimate relationships across the lifespan are some of the factors associated with a recent increase in remarriage rates of older adults. While demographic trends indicate that repartnering in the later years will likely become more common, little is known about remarriage in the “young-old” years.
The study included in-depth, semistructured interviews with 11 newlyweds (seven females, four males) who had remarried between the ages of 55 and 75. Word-for-word transcripts were qualitatively analyzed through a process of open coding and constant comparison to identify salient themes related to the original research question “What is the transition to remarriage experience like for adults aged 55–75?”
Five themes emerged from the analysis of participant interviews: positive orientation toward remarriage, practical/pragmatic view of the union, desire for companionship, recognition of others’ feelings, and willingness to adapt.
The findings were salient to a small group of “young-old,” white, middle-class males and females from the Midwest and are not meant to be generalizable. The results can serve as a basis for further research and understanding of romantic relationships and repartnering across the life course.
This study helps to fill the gap that exists in the current literature related to romantic relationships and remarriage in the “young-old” years of life.
This study aims to improve our understanding of side selling in farmer cooperatives. Cooperative member side selling, in which farmers divert produce from cooperatives to…
This study aims to improve our understanding of side selling in farmer cooperatives. Cooperative member side selling, in which farmers divert produce from cooperatives to competitors, threatens coffee cooperatives. This is a problem in Burundi, where many households earn income from coffee and cooperatives serve a collective action function.
Using data from a survey of Burundian coffee farmers, we assess the determinants of two types of cooperative member side-selling behavior: selling to both cooperative and non-cooperative buyers and selling solely to non-cooperative buyers.
Farmers who sell to both cooperative and non-cooperative buyers are more likely to be male household heads, be more invested in coffee and have larger farms than non-side sellers, among other characteristics. Farmers who only sell to non-cooperative buyers are poorer and less invested in coffee than non-side sellers.
Additional research is needed to better understand why side-selling behavior differs between groups and to better understand how household head gender influences side selling. In addition, this study lacks qualitative data supporting quantitative findings. Future research should include qualitative methods to better understand motivations for side-selling behavior.
The study provides important information on what influences cooperative member side selling and focuses on specific types of side-selling behavior that have been largely overlooked. The study focuses on the role of household head gender in side selling, which is important, given the centrality of women to African agriculture.
This paper aims to explore the role of culture and gender stereotypes in the entrepreneurial journey of women entrepreneurs. It specifically focuses on women entrepreneurs…
This paper aims to explore the role of culture and gender stereotypes in the entrepreneurial journey of women entrepreneurs. It specifically focuses on women entrepreneurs in the Nabdam district of Ghana.
The study adopted the qualitative approach and collected data from 20 women entrepreneurs in the Nabdam district in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Data were collected through face-to-face in-depth interviews which were analysed according to identified themes.
The key finding of the study is that culture, through gender stereotypes, acts as a “push” motivational factor of women entrepreneurship and breeds more necessity-driven women entrepreneurs than opportunity-driven ones. However, gender stereotyping is found to be a bane to entrepreneurial success of several women-owned enterprises. Due to gender stereotypes, countless women entrepreneurs are sceptical about venturing into “unknown sector” sectors not familiar and operating larger businesses that are likely to yield more profits.
Currently, there is less research on entrepreneurship and culture/gender stereotypes until now in Ghana, and this study seeks to bridge this gap. The results are discussed linking what is pertaining in other economic landscapes, thus avoiding just national perspectives. This is the first known study conducted in the study area that looks at entrepreneurship through the lens of culture-gender stereotypes.
Building on the content of papers of this volume, this final section asks the key question of whether, after prolonged discussions undertaken for almost half of the…
Building on the content of papers of this volume, this final section asks the key question of whether, after prolonged discussions undertaken for almost half of the century by major world-scale institutions and numerous governments, gender equality is found in todays’ countries, communities, and families across the world. It attempts to delineate whether some researchers are correct stating that great gender equality across the world was achieved since the 1970s at job opportunities, family relations, education, and social position of women in comparison to men. Or whether others are correct showing that women contribute significantly more time to working hours and perform more societal duties while spending less time on rest than men. Finally, whether governments and policy makers created gender-sensitive policies and programs that aim at enhancement and protection of women’s rights, economic empowerment and improvement of women’s well-being, and hence citizens of the global world embrace gender equality in everyday practices. In conclusion, we propose potential policies that could build a better, more equal world for future generations.