The Universal Declaration of Human Rights introduces the recognition of
the inherent dignity of all people as a foundation of freedom, justice
and peace in the world. Dignity plays a prominent role in South Africa’s
Constitution, both as a foundational value and a right. Dignity can also
be considered as a psycho-social phenomenon and at times these two
notions of dignity (‘dignity as principle’ and ‘dignity in practice’)
can seem disconnected. In this study we explored the linkages by
investigating the impact of poverty on dignity, and in particular the
extent to which dignity is experienced as violable.
Thirty-six focus groups and 16 in-depth interviews were undertaken in
the Eastern Cape and Western Cape in South Africa with low income female
caregivers. Just under 200 women took part in the focus groups.
Interviews were also held with senior policy makers in government, and
social attitudes were explored more broadly in relation to dignity,
poverty and social security using data from the HSRC’s South African
Social Attitudes Survey.
Wright, G.; Noble, M.; Ntshongwana, P.; Neves, D.; Barnes, H. Poverty erodes dignity: perspectives of low income female caregivers in South Africa. (2014) 4 pp.
Poverty erodes dignity: perspectives of low income female caregivers in South Africa