International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Do Women Really Matter in Development? Evaluating Women’s Wellbeing in Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme: A Capability Analysis
Charles Chikunda

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate women’s wellbeing in Zimbabwe’s land reform programme. I use the capability approach and feminist lenses in a qualitative case study focusing on the sugarcane growing region of Chiredzi West. The mediating question for the evaluation was what capability set do women have in the land reform programme? As findings I established that Zimbabwe’s land reform programme was marred by gender blind procedures that fail to take into account existing gender responsive polices nor cultural norms that act as negative conversion factors to women’s wellbeing. This negatively impacted on women’s access to and control of land. In this regard, a systemic approach is recommended as a normative prescription for gender transformation in development, focusing on social and personal conversion factors. Having a shared conceptualization of gender equality as core development issue, and a development objective in its own right is also indispensable if women are to benefit from development as their male counterparts.

Full Text: PDF