Social and household demographic changes
Lower life expectancy
In Namibia and Uganda, various reports show that life expectancy has dropped from more than 60 years in the early 1990's to just above 40 in 2001 due to the epidemic. This trend is supported by the study findings in Uganda and Namibia. See the two following examples from Namibia and Uganda:
In the survey areas in Uganda HIV/AIDS was the most frequently reported cause of death, and the average age of people dying was 28 years.
Example Namibia: Number of HIV/AIDS-related deaths for ages 15-49 by gender (1998-2001)
Namibia the people dying of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses are within their productive age (15-64 yrs), and increasingly female.
High number of female-headed households
In the survey area, the number of female headed house-holds was high: 50% of the households in Namibia, and 18% and 32% in Uganda and Zambia respectively.
Example Zambia: % of female headed households
About 32% of the randomly selected households in Zambia were female headed. This is significantly higher than the % in the 1999 National Survey.
Uganda: A group of widows in Uganda discussing the labour constraints they experience due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Increase in the number of orphans cared for by rural households
Households reporting to foster orphans were: 20% in Namibia, 31% in Zambia and 14% in Uganda. The 95 female-headed households in Zambia with orphans had an average of 1.7 extra children to feed, clothe and house, while the male-headed households fostering orphans had on average 1.6 extra children.
Lowering of educational attainment by children in vulnerable households
Labour constraints faced by affected households in Uganda, has increased the drop-out rate and children are assisting the family in agricultural activities. In Zambia, 7% of the children in female headed households with orphans dropped out of primary school as a result of "no support". This was three times higher than the drop-out rate in male-headed households with orphans.
Increase in property grabbing
Asset stripping is a difficult subject to discuss. However, it remains a problem for widows and orphans trying to survive. In Namibia, 44% of the widows reported to have lost cattle, 28% had lost small livestock and 41% had lost farm equipment to relatives after the household's male head had died.
Changes in traditional safety nets
In the pastoral communities in Uganda, widows used to receive quite a number of cattle from community members when the husband died. Due to high numbers of deaths, this number has declined, or no cattle are given at all. In Namibia, very few received any kind of support by government or other institutions, but 60% of the affected households relied more on support from relatives.
Increase in risky survival strategies
Male out-migration in Namibia increases the probability of sexual relationships outside of the family with the attendant risks of HIV. In the fishing community in Uganda, widows and orphans reported to have engaged in sexual relationships to get cash, food or other favours.
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