Studies have shown that the experience and consequences of unemployment affect people differently depending on, for example, age and gender. The purpose of the present study was to identify factors that contribute to unemployment among young women aged 20-35 in Mahalapye village, investigate the effects of being unemployed, determine sources of support available to unemployed young women, and identify the gaps in state assistance in this regard. The study utilized a survey research method and adopted a descriptive research design. Cluster sampling was used with the sample size being one hundred (100) unemployed young women in Mahalapye. A face-to-face questionnaire method was adopted to collect data and the study was cross sectional. Since the research was quantitative the Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used to analyse data. The results showed that unemployment among young women in Mahalapye is a problem and young women are seriously affected by being unemployed. The study also revealed that high poverty levels result from unemployment and that this is linked to young women becoming engaged in criminal activities. A number of programmes have been put in place by government and other stakeholders to curb unemployment but the study indicated that a majority of the respondents have not benefited from these programmes. Low coverage, limited information about programmes, complicated help seeking processes, and lack of resources were identified as gaps in the provision of these programmes. Further research is needed to describe and elucidate in greater detail the effects of unemployment on young women of different ages and in different contexts.

Author Biography

Kabo Diraditsile is a Ph.D. researcher at Waseda University in Tokyo. His interests are in social governance, social policy, poverty and social development issues. He has contributed chapters to books and authored refereed journal articles covering various issues including poverty, social welfare, youth development and programme evaluation.

Mosetsanagape Alice Ontetse is pursuing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Botswana and her area of specialty is youth and community practice. Her interests are in poverty, unemployment, women empowerment, youth empowerment and social development.