Pushing the limits of motherhood : narratives of older women in rural Zimbabwe

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: Drawing on narratives of rurally based Zimbabwean older women, this article analyses experiences of motherhood in relation to the country’s shifting economic and socio-political landscapes. The narratives of these older women, who have nurtured their children and continue to do so way into (their children’s) adulthood, push scholars to grapple with questions of motherhood in respect of “intensive mothering” (Bell 2006: 232; Hays 1996). Intensive mothering points at the exclusivity of motherhood which frames the responsibility to provide and care for the children during their formative years as virtually the mother’s (Bell 2006: 232; Glenn 1994: 3). Older women in this article are second and third generation mothers whose narratives challenge constructions of motherhood which limit intensive mothering to the formative stages of children’s lifecycle.