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International Journal of Social Inquiry

Yıl 2009 , Cilt 2 , Sayı 2

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Gender dynamics in homeownership: a gender system and contract theoretical framework for analysing gender inequality in homeownership in urban uganda

Yazar kurumları :
Makerere University1
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This paper presents Hirdman’s gender system and contract theory to examine the unequal gender relations in homeownership in an urban Ugandan partriarchal society. The theoretical point of departure is that married women are usually in the subordinate position in homeownership. For married women to become homeowners in a patriarchal society, it is an uphill task. Special conditions that include: a married woman’s control of income; assertiveness, compromise and a husband being in a financial crisis are needed for a married woman to become a homeowner. A qualitative research design was adopted to capture men and women’s experiences with regard to home ownership. Drawing on married couples’ life stories, the paper presents two empirical examples designed to demonstrate the application of the framework in understanding gender dynamics in home ownership and how this inequality comes about. The findings of this research suggest that homeownership is contextual and complex at interpersonal and cultural ideological levels. There are specific processes under which gender inequalities in homeownership are produced, reproduced and sometimes challenged in social practices, an indication that the gender system is subject to change under particular circumstances. The main contribution to this study is the understanding of the complex dynamics of homeownership among middle class urban women. It brings to light that there should be no generalisation of women’s problems in terms of homeownership because each story presents different elements of the homeownership gender contract. This research adds to the existing knowledge on the complex relationship between married women and their husbands in as far as home ownership is concerned in developing countries in general and Uganda in particular. The study further contributes to the theoretical insights in the understanding of homeownership gender dynamics in developing countries.

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