Lesotho has been a source of migrant labour for many years, with men crossing the borders to work on South African mines. Men left their homes in pursuit of mine work, leaving behind their wives to look after the household. Women would receive remittances from their husbands, which they used to survive, and for the upkeep of the home while husbands were away. As Lesotho is an agricultural society, women were involved in farming for subsistence, with some women being able to sell their produce. Men were the breadwinners and women the housekeepers, according to prevailing gender norms. With the mine retrenchments that took place in the 1980s and 1990s, many men returned to Lesotho, with no job prospects due to the employment deficit in the country. Many women are no longer receiving remittances, and are now looking after their households with their husbands being at home, unemployed. This mini- dissertation delves into the livelihoods of these women whose life circumstances have changed now that their husbands have returned. It looks at the changed gender relations within the household as well as economic strategies of survival that women employ in these trying times, given their culturally determined positions in Basotho society. AFRIKAANS : Lesotho is al ‘n bron van migrasie arbeiders vir baie jare, met mans wat die grense kruis om op die Suid-Afrikaanse myne te gaan werk. Mans het hulle wonings verlaat met die vooruitsig op mynwerk, terwyl hulle eggenote agterbly om na die huishouding om te sien. Vrouens ontvang finansiële hulp van hulle mans, wat hulle gebruik het om te oorleef, en vir die instandhouding van die huis terwyl hulle mans weg was. Aangesien Lesotho ‘n landbou gemeenskap is, was vrouens betrokke in bestaansboerdery, met sommige vroue in staat om produkte te verkoop. Volgens die oorhoofs aanvaarde norm was mans die broodwinners en vrouens die huisopsitters. Hierdie mini-verhandeling kyk dieper na die veranderde lewensomstandighede van vrouens wie se mans teruggekeer het. Dit kyk na die veranderde geslagsverhoudinge binne die huishouding, asook die ekonomiese strategiee van oorlewing wat vrouens toepas in die moeilike omstandighede, veral in die lig van hul kulturele posisies in die Basotho samelewing. Copyright
Dissertation (MSocSci)--University of Pretoria, 2010.