Poverty Erodes Dignity: Perspective of Low Income Female Caregivers in South Africa

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights introduces the recognition of the inherent dignity of all people as a foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Dignity plays a prominent role in South Africa’s Constitution, both as a foundational value and a right. Dignity can also be considered as a psycho-social phenomenon and at times these two notions of dignity (‘dignity as principle’ and ‘dignity in practice’) can seem disconnected. In this study we explored the linkages by investigating the impact of poverty on dignity, and in particular the extent to which dignity is experienced as violable.