PhD Project (2022–2024): Unpaid and invisible work in the context of the social and public health crisis in South Africa: a critical theological reflection (Research Area Development)
The study will investigate how might an examination of African religio-cultural principles shape theological re-thinking about the gendered nature of unpaid care work and community-making work in South Africa? This research will intersect the disciplines of gender and development, feminist studies, and women’s theology. The study hypotheses that indigenous African women live by subjugated religio-cultural values. This study aims to amplify the lived experience of local black South African women who perform unpaid care work, especially during health crises. This study will use a wide range of methods, theories, and analytical tools from each of the fields of gender and development, feminist studies, women’s theology, and from the social sciences more generally. The study will lean on the gender and development debate such as the three approaches to development planning, that is, Women in Development (WID), Women and Development (WAD), and Gender and Development (GAD) (Haddad, 2000). In addition to the gender division of labour framework, this study will work within an explicitly African women theology (AWT) paradigm and employ various African women theologians’ methods. The study will stand on African women theologians‘ framework, a theology inspired by women’s lived experiences, referred to as a situational theology articulated by African Women theologians (Nyengele, 2004). This study will take an empirical approach and follow a qualitative research method and conduct qualitative interviews engaging 75 women ages 35-60 thereafter, Cultural religious themes about unpaid work will be teased out and dominant themes that shape unpaid work such, as Ubuntu will be the focus also themes that are attached to these dominant themes concerning care work.