The Impacts of Undeveloped Roads on the Livelihoods of Rural Women.




Access to healthcare, Poor service delivery, Transport burden, Transport infrastructure, Women’s livelihoods.


Globally poor service delivery is a challenge faced by many rural communities in Third World Countries. The overarching issue of poverty as well as poor services impacts on rural households in Third World Countries. The aim of this study is to assess the impacts of undeveloped roads in the Nyamana community and its direct linkage on the livelihoods of rural women. The Nyamana community is characterised by poor road conditions and is considered an undeveloped area. There is a lack of infrastructural development in the area that places further restrictions on the livelihoods of residents. The use of qualitative and quantitative methods are used in this study. Findings from this study reveal that a direct relationship exist between undeveloped roads and access to many other primary services such as education, employment, healthcare facilities and livelihood strategies. Residents in the Nyamana community have no access to electricity and clean water. In addition infrastructural access is a major difficulty for these residents due to insufficient roads. The study indicates that rural women bear the burden of household chores such as fetching water and collecting fuel wood, which is indicative of the transport burden women carry. Qualitative results of the study reveal that essential services such as healthcare, education and road infrastructure are absent in the community, however no effort is being made by the municipality in improving the provision of services. In addition rural dwellers state isolation and remoteness as a major contributor to their state of poverty, as they are unreachable and non-existent to the rest of society. Additional findings reveal that patriarchy is widespread in the community, which has led to inequalities with regards to access and mobility amongst women.

Author Biography

  • Shenelle Janalyn Sewell, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
    Geography Department


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