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PhD Student Profiles

Masauso Chirwa

'The impact of poverty on gendered roles - a case study of Zambia’


My name is my Masauso Chirwa, and I come from Zambia. I am a PhD student at the University of Warwick - Centre for Lifelong Learning. I chose to study at the University of Warwick because of its outstanding academic record and the prestige it commands worldwide. Furthermore, in researching departmental research interests, I found that the Centre for Lifelong Learning focuses on among others, Social Policy and Social Work. I enjoy studying, not only for the sake of gaining knowledge, but to pass along what I have learned to others in ways that benefit society.

My research is on 'The impact of poverty on gendered roles- a case study of Zambia’. I am focusing on mothers of disabled children. The reason for choosing this topic is that this is a group of people that is stereotyped and suffers poverty. Most of the nature of their employment is in the formal sector- selling in the market and on the street, raising money for the family, and they also have the demand and burden of looking after a child with disability. So they have to juggle between two competing responsibilities. The informal activities that they engage themselves in hardly enhance their socioeconomic status so much that they can hardly provide subsistence for their family. The above reasons coupled with weak social support systems in Zambia make such women lead challenging lives. It is thus important to understand their experiences from their own perspectives on what can be done to reduce their poverty.

It is great and exciting studying at the University of Warwick. There are many amazing things going on in the University scientifically because of the sheer numbers of internationally reknown academics here. A number of exciting researches are going on too in the Centre for Lifelong Learning. This gives an opportunity to students to get involved in most of the exciting researches. The Centre for Lifelong Learning has dedicated teaching staff and excellent facilities for PhD students. It also offers an opportunity to students to undertake advanced courses in research under the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. The University of Warwick is the place to be if you want the best education.