Some demographic aspects of women's access to land for farming in South Africa: a comparison from 2004 to 2007
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The issue of women's access to land is a developmental issue. From a fundamental research view point, this study aims to explore the circumstances in which women access land in South Africa. The study examines the inequalities that may arise in the context of land access, land acquisition; land use, activities taking place on land and closely related issues focusing specifically on women in general, and women headed households in particular. The study is based on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, occupational groups, education, province of residence and ethnic groups. Bringing together the demographic variables and land related variables, the study captures the structural changes between 2004 and 2007. Using 2004 and 2007 GHS secondary data requested from Statistics South Africa, cross tabulation and bivariate statistical analysis by means of SPSS software was performed. The results obtained indicate that the inequality against women's access to land still persists. Some women have access to land for agricultural purpose but few own it. The findings suggest that a number of factors including age, place of residence, marital status, ethnic group, literacy, educational level, of women are associated with the ability of women to access and acquire land. The sustainable livelihood framework is a theory that guided this study. Diversification is commonly used to prevent time of risks and shocks. In general, the study shows that the proportion of women who had access to land was 16% in 2004. This figure dropped to 14% in 2007.