Accumulation of assets to enable the diversification of activities has been established as crucial in helping the rural poor escape poverty. The empowerment of women has been identified as a way to overcome inefficiencies in the allocation of resources within the family and so improve agrarian households’ productivity. However, achieving diversification is not necessarily empowering for women and some initiatives may worsen their position.
This book uses the information collected in original household surveys conducted in rural areas in four countries to investigate the links between women’s position in the household, diversification strategies, labour market participation and poverty reduction. The book centres on country-specific chapters that provide an in-depth focus on an issue of relevance to the location and that tease out the interplay between female empowerment and development in that context. In particular, the chapters examine:
The analysis calls for caution in assuming that labour market expansion necessarily acts to empower women and emphasizes the role female access to assets can have in facilitating diversification and escaping poverty. It will appeal to all those studying development economics, with particular interest in areas such as diversification, poverty and female empowerment.
"This book follows in the tradition, established by the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, of regarding issues of gender in general, and the treatment of women in particular, as central to the process of economic development" Vani Borooah (University of Ulster, UK)
1. Introduction 2. The Surveys: Countries, Methodology and Poverty Clasifications 3. Time Use and Labour Supply in Rural Households 4. Landlessness, Poverty and Labour Supply in South-western Ethiopia 5. Redefining Gender Roles and Reworking Gender Relations: Female Agricultural Labour in Dry Regions of Andhra Pradesh 6. Gender Relations and Female Labour Supply in Eastern Uganda 7. Female-headed Households in Zimbabwe: A Different Type of Poverty Needing a Different Set of Solutions? 8. Policies and Poverty Alleviation