Grandmothers - International AIDS Society

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Grandmothers - International AIDS Society
What will happen when grandmothers die?
Unpacking the Gender and Generational
Implications of AIDS among Street Traders
in Durban, South Africa
By May Chazan
Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
HEARD, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban,
South Africa
XVI International AIDS Conference, Toronto, August 2006
Grandmothers:
Unrecognized and Indispensable
“I am a guardian to all of them; they
come to my house and I take care of
them. I will be the one to take care
of the orphans…”
- Grandmother in Durban supporting 18
family members
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Purpose and Outline
Purpose:
To examine the gender and generational implications
of AIDS among street traders in Warwick Junction,
Durban, South Africa, highlighting the key roles and
particular vulnerabilities of older women.
Outline:
• Research context
• Demographic data
• Highlights of ethnographic research with street traders
• Gender and generational implications
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
The Research Context:
Street Traders in Warwick Junction, South Africa
• 8000 traders serving 500 000 commuters
• 40.7 % antenatal clinic HIV prevalence
• Poverty; migrancy;70% women
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Rising Mortality Among Young Women
in South Africa
Female mortality in South Africa 1997-2004
35000
30000
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Number
25000
20000
15000
10000
5000
Age group
XVI International AIDS Conference
90+
85-89
80-84
75-79
70-74
65-69
60-64
55-59
50-54
45-49
40-44
35-39
30-34
25-29
20-24
15-19
10-14
5-9
0-4
0
Source: Statistics South Africa
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Grandmothers in Warwick Junction:
Vulnerabilities and Impacts
“I’m talking about it because it is something
that’s happening to me. I am talking about my
kids. I take them to the clinic; I take home
condoms. But they don’t listen, they are still
taking risks. I suspect my son has it. But how am
I supposed to help if he won’t get tested?”
-- Grandmother supporting 9 children and grandchildren
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Grandmothers in Warwick Junction:
Vulnerabilities and Impacts
1.Financial burdens
2.Displacement
3.Personal illness and
fears for the future
4. Emotional stresses
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Grandmothers in Warwick Junction:
Household Map, Dec 2002
42
Nieces
Sister
50
Niece
27
23
21
16
11
5
9
Children
Income earner
Grandchildren
F
5
XVI International AIDS Conference
M
5 yrs old
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Grandmothers in Warwick Junction:
Household Map, Dec 2004
Sick,
pregnant
Sick,
moved in
x
44
Nieces/ Nephew
29
52
Moved in
x
25
23
Sister – sick, lost job
Niece
18
13
11
7
x
Passed away
Changes
Income earner
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Grandmothers in Warwick Junction:
Household Map, Dec 2005
Sick
xx
Sick
45
Sister – sick
53
Niece
30
x x
25
23
19
14
9
12
x
Moved in
Passed away
Changes
Income earner
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Grandmothers in Warwick Junction:
Sibongile’s Story
Over 3.5 years:
•From 15 to 19 members in household
•From 3 to 1 income earners
•Income diminishing due to personal illness
•Lost 4 children
•Absorbed responsibility for 2 orphans
•Cared for 6 people, all seriously ill
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Looking Forward…
What will happen when
today’s grandmothers die?
Female mortality in South Africa 1997-2004
35000
30000
Number
25000
20000
15000
10000
90+
85-89
80-84
75-79
70-74
65-69
60-64
55-59
50-54
45-49
40-44
35-39
30-34
25-29
20-24
15-19
10-14
5-9
0
0-4
5000
Age group
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
What to do?
Recognition and Support for Grandmothers
•Livelihood generation
•Accessible ARVs
•Counseling and psychosocial support
•Accessible information
•Social transfers – a basic income
grant
•Research, recognition and respect
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’
Thanks to
• The International Development Research Centre
Ecohealth Programme Initiative, Canada
• The Social Science and Humanities Research
Council of Canada
• The Health Economics and HIV/ AIDS Research
Division, South Africa
for funding and supporting this research.
Special thanks to all those who participated in and
assisted with this research in Durban
XVI International AIDS Conference
Chazan (2006), ‘Grandmothers’

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