Housing and women's rights in Gauteng, South Africa: The role of social work in sharpening the focus

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Housing serves to connect the occupants with several interrelated rights. Adequate housing promotes women's social and economic rights - consonant with the social work agenda of advancing social justice for vulnerable populations. The values of social work resonate with the principles of human rights and social justice. The centrality of housing in conjoining the social and economic rights especially of women needs to be recognised by the profession. Using purposive sampling, this study selected two social housing institutions (SHIs) in Gauteng, South Africa. In South Africa, SHIs are accredited with the relevant government agency, they receive a financial subsidy to provide subsidised quality housing for qualifying low- to medium-income citizens. With each institution, a semi-structured interview was conducted with the housing supervisor and a focus group discussion was administered to the female beneficiaries. Findings showed that, applying a gender lens in housing delivery bolsters the rights of women. Furthermore, the study found out that gender-aware housing delivery promotes social capital upon which community maladies are addressed. In view of the multiple social and economic exclusions that women face in South Africa, the author recommends a gender lens in housing delivery. Social workers should be aware that there exists a strong correlation between lack of adequate housing by women and poverty and gender based and domestic violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalAfrican Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • gender
  • housing
  • human rights
  • social work
  • South Africa
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health (social science)
  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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