This study looks at a socio-economic profile of female-headed households in a South African Township. Poverty is defined and measured for a sample of households in the township of Bophelong, South Africa. The household subsistence level (HSL) is used as a measure of poverty in the area. The HSL measures the minimum amount needed by a household to attain a minimum subsistence level. It takes account of the sex and ages of household members. The challenges facing female-headed households are discussed, together with their survival mechanisms.