A Southern Encounter: Maternal Body Work and Low-income Mothers in South Africa. By: Stumbitz, Bianca and Jaga, Ameeta. Gender, Work & Organization. 2020, Pp. 1-16. 16p.

This article explores the maternal body work practices of black low-income mothers from resource-poor urban spaces in South Africa. Using Southern Theory to open our analytical lens, we recognize that location has implications for how we understand the embodiment of gender and the lactating body in the global South. We argue that maternal body work, as one form of gendered embodiment, must be understood in a postcolonial landscape where histories of colonization and indigenous gender orders continue to shape how women respond to work conditions and how they manage the competing demands of work and breastfeeding. Our analysis from 51 in-depth interviews conducted in Cape Town, demonstrates that maternal body work practices are interpreted through the entanglement of embodiment and work and non-work spaces. By emphasizing contextual specificities relating to low-income workers’ living, working and family realities, we advance studies on maternal body work and employment from the global South.