Socio-Economic Challenges Experienced by Widows and Support Provided by Social Workers in Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality in Eastern Cape, South Africa




socio-economic status, experiences, widows, support, widowhood, social workers


Widowed women, or widows, across the globe share common experiences which relate to social and economic challenges. For example, in some parts of Africa, widowhood comes as an elevated experience of deprivation, subjugation and humiliation. Widows are not only viewed with suspicion, but are also regarded as an economic burden on their relatives, especially if they are not working. This article reports on a study that aimed to investigate the impact of socio-economic support provided by social workers to widows in mitigating social and economic challenges. A qualitative approach was adopted for the study. The study sample comprised 20 widows and 15 social workers. The findings revealed that widows experience various socio-economic challenges. The study also found that while social workers provide services that are necessary for all South Africans, they do not offer any specific services directed to widows. In conclusion, the situation in which widows find themselves calls for more holistic interventions from social workers as they respond to the challenges that affect widows’ well-being and functioning.


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Author Biography

Zintle Ntshongwana, University of the Witwatersrand

Social work, student


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How to Cite

Tshaka, Akhona, Pius Tanga, and Zintle Ntshongwana. 2023. “Socio-Economic Challenges Experienced by Widows and Support Provided by Social Workers in Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality in Eastern Cape, South Africa”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 35 (3):21 pages.



Received 2022-04-25
Accepted 2023-06-01
Published 2023-08-22