Household Heads Gender Comparison of Perceived Causes of Poverty in a South African Township

Rachel Nishimwe-Niyimbanira


This study compared perceptions of the causes of poverty among female and male households’ heads in a South African township. A survey questionnaire was used with a sample of 225 households 156 headed by males and 69 headed by females, randomly selected from Kwakwatsi Township. Instrument used to measure perceptions of the causes of poverty was drawn from The Perceptions of the Causes of Poverty Scale (PCPS) developed by Joe Feagin. In general, the analysis showed that the larger number of Kwakwatsi population was inclined to attribute poverty to individualistic factors, compared to structural and fatalistic factors. Independent t-test indicated that female and male household’s heads expressed similar within the structural and individualistic explanations of the causes of poverty, but they differed significantly in the importance they attributed to the fatalistic attributions. Males reported a higher significant level of inclination to the fatalistic causes of poverty than females. This study confirmed that the link between the perception of causes of poverty and gender cannot be generalised.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n21p299

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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