My name is my Masauso Chirwa, and I come from Zambia. I am a PhD student at CLL- University of Warwick. I graduated from the University of Zambia in 2008 with a Bachelor of Social Work. I subsequently studied two masters degrees one in MSc in International Social Work and another MSc in Peace and Development Studies at Linnaeus University in Sweden. Prior to starting my PhD, I worked both as an academic and a researcher at the University of Zambia from 2011 to 2013.
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.
The study draws on a framework using insights from different theoretical perspectives in understanding the experiences and views of mothers: the social empowerment model, the social disability model and feminist theories (with a focus on intersectionality approaches).
Warwick Chancellor's International Scholarship