Globally, feminised labour migration for agricultural work has increased. In the global south, agrarian capitalism has been associated with improved economic status and raised standards of living among rural populations. However, these benefits have not been evenly distributed among the diverse populations engaged in agriculture. To an extent agrarian capitalism has precipitated later life feminist loneliness and isolation among rural-dwelling migrant older women. The situation is further exacerbated by gender intersecting with other modes of oppression. With specific reference to Uganda, I draw on the thematic analysis of 10 participants’ life story interviews to argue that while dominant gerontological literature largely attributes later-life loneliness to the changing family dynamics and declining collective values, in an agrarian capitalist environment, negotiating a balance between mutual connections and production is more imperative. The findings of the study revealed that migrants’ limited access to mutual assistance groups that were monopolised by natives, affected their accrual of social capital within which material life is embedded hence experiences of loneliness and isolation. The paper will contribute to social change in terms of rural-centric and gender sensitive policy initiatives aimed at reducing the risk of loneliness among migrant older women in a capitalist and transnational rural ageing context.
Teddy Nagaddya, Western Sydney University, Australia