Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Lekkie Hopkins

Second Advisor

Dani Stehlik


This research comes as a response to the paucity of discussion on women's experience of retirement. In consideration of the relationship between work and retirement, this study examines what a feminist perspective on women's experience of work can contribute to the androcentric conception of retirement. Women's experience of work is shaped by many forces, most particularly by the ideology of motherhood and the sexual division of labour. Together, these factors have ensured that women and men experience both paid and unpaid work in quantitatively and qualitatively different manners. While the construction of retirement has been around the largely male experience of fulltime, uninterrupted, paid work, women's experiences of work have been rendered invisible in which of the retirement discourse. By applying a feminist perspective on women's experience of work, this study has been able to explore the concept of retirement with womens' experience of work and later life at the centre of the discussion. This was made possible through using a feminist review of literature on women and work and the construction of retirement. This study also uses case studies of older women to add to the discussion of the concept of reitrement. This is a discussion which is particularly important for women, as they are the predominant survivors into retirement, and as they often experience paid and unpaid work- and thus retirement - differently from men. My personal research journal is included in this thesis in an attempt to show both the personal and public process of feminist research, and to give the reader an insight into the decisions I made during the research process.