In many rural contexts of the Global South, the social contract of work has positioned female youth within low-paid ‘own account’ work and the hidden sexual economy of unpaid reproductive labour. In contemporary societies, globalisation, new media and the universalisation of education has changed the world of work and opened new employment possibilities. However, with respect to rural contexts of sub-Saharan Africa in particular, how young women’s livelihoods have changed is under-researched. This project seeks to explore the livelihoods of rural female youth with different educational trajectories and what imaginaries they hold of work. By involving youth researchers in Nigeria and South Africa, it aims to develop situated understandings of the values and norms within these imaginaries and through participatory methods to support youth in developing new conceptual frameworks that challenge historic gender and other structural inequalities in the ways different work is valued.
Research team: Dr Barbara Crossouard, University of Sussex; Professor Mairead Dunne, University of Sussex; Dr Dauda Moses, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Nigeria; Professor Relebohile Moletsane, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa