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:
- Landlessness in Ethiopia
- Feminization of the agricultural labour market in Andhra Pradesh, India
- Female labour supply and women's power within the household in Uganda
- Disadvantages faced by female-headed households in Zimbabwe
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.
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About the Author
Hazel Johnson is Professor of Development Policy and Practice at The Open University.
Paul Mosley is Professor of Economics at the University of Sheffield.