Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

Global discourse on Africa largely fails to recognize the important and transformative roles of women working in professional careers. This thesis uses life history and ethnography to document the lives of women in Botswana who are juggling paid employment and raising children. The culturally-specific ways in which they negotiate work and home-based roles have much to contribute to larger understandings of women, work, and motherhood. I argue that a new faction of Botswana’s middle class is emerging among women in Gaborone. The women in this case study exemplify this new group. Members of this class are characterized by their tertiary education and full-time careers that are driven by these women’s aspirations and personal goals. This thesis charts their path to their current middle-class status. The roles of motherhood and heading a household are sources of empowerment and remain key elements of the hybrid identities of Batswana women working careers in Gaborone.

 
 

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