Public defence: Jennifer Muderedzi
Mphil Jennifer Muderedzi at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Vulnerable groups and structural violence; case of the Tonga people of Binga in Zimbabwe: Coping of families with disabled children” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).
Trial Lecture – time and place
See Trial Lecture.
- First opponent: Professor Theresa Lorenzo, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town
- Second opponent: Associate Professor Hisayo Katsui, Department of Social and Public Policy, University of Helsinki
- Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Heidi Fjeld, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
Chair of the Defence
Associate Professor Arne Stray-Pedersen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
Professor Emeritus Babill Stray-Pedersen†, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
The aim of the thesis was to explore the interrelationships of structural violence among disability, poverty, HIV/AIDS and social suffering in anticipation of generating evidence based knowledge to develop strategies towards poverty alleviation and social inclusion. Data collection methods included in-depth interviews, participant observation, focus group discussions and secondary data.
The notion that ‘disability causes poverty and vice-versa’ has now moved a step further with evidence indicating the presence of links between disability, poverty and health. In the case of the Tonga of Binga, structural violence was the link perpetuated mainly by politics, socio-economic, the environment and other factors.
Structural violence in the form of exclusion and discrimination by the government was noted as the mechanism underlying the link between disability, poverty and health. Structural violence harmed and disadvantaged poor and vulnerable Tonga communities and especially disabled children. Deliberate and planned actions such as food aid withdrawal, lack of healthcare, education, livelihoods, water and sanitation, poor living conditions, poor socio-economic status and lack of development to the district caused extreme social suffering. Structural violence took away the informants’ capability to pursue and achieve well-being of their families and disabled children.
In conclusion, the interrelationships of structural violence among disability, poverty, HIV/AIDS and social suffering calls for strategies towards poverty alleviation and inclusion. The human rights-based approach to development should be implemented as it strengthens the capacity of the government to respect, protect and fulfil its human rights obligation for the families with disabled children to realise their human rights.
Contact the research support staff.