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[EDUCATION] Women Livelihood Asset

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The fact that women and men
particularly in Africa have significant roles in the making of livelihood
decisions, calls for the need to further understand how gender influence
individual livelihood portfolios and livelihood diversification among men and
women (Ellis2000). The increase in rural farmers income earning activities has
evoked the question of how these activities articulate with gender roles,
responsibilities and norms, in other words, how do rural farmers new economic
activities fit into and affect a gender system where social relations of
inequality are institutionalized through a system of beliefs and practices that
establish women and men as two distinctly different categories (IFAD, 2011).
A study in Akwa
Ibom State, women play a role in household income generation.  However, they are disadvantage in the farming
sector due to restricted land right, insecure tenure, limited access to
agricultural inputs, technology in extension services. In both the rural and
urban areas of Akwa Ibom State, land is family’s greatest asset and men control
a vast majority of this valuable asset (Jonah, 2017). Due to lack of access to
land, majority of women are also push into livelihood diversification (Hussien
and Nelson, 1998, Ellis, Gladwin et al,
and Jonah, 2017).
Women livelihood
asset is specifically grouped around five principal categories and are
naturally interconnected thus underlying the fact that livelihood depends on a combination
of asset of various kinds and not just one category. An important part of the
analysis is thus to find out women’s access to different types of asset
(physical, human, financial, natural and social) and their ability to put these
to productive use (Asmah, 2011).
The new approach,
gender and development focuses on gender disparities in the impacts of economic
and social policies and the reality that men, women and their interactions
affect every aspect of development process. The perspective pay close attention
to the mechanism that regulate gender interactions and their impacts on men and
women, by making reference to gender- based – socio – economic  characteristics (Dada, 2011).
insecure rights to land ownership and use are crucial gender based barrier to
enhancing advancement in women agricultural productivity. Gender issues were
brought into the mainstream in realization of its attendance consequences on
sustainable development (FAO, 2001).
Women contribute immensely to the
upkeep of the family by educating their wards, providing for their health
needs, and other welfare issues. Therefore, a specific approach is needed which
will recognize gender access to control over resources, and particularly land
(Udoh 2015).

of the Problem

The fact remains
that women livelihood have been largely transformed as they play a significant
role in household income generation, however it is also obvious that women are
significantly disadvantage in livelihood asset. Several research findings have
confirmed that due to lack of access to land, majority of women are also push
into livelihood diversification (Hussien and Nelson, 1998, Ellis 2000, Gladwin et al, 2001 and Jonah, 2017). Since empowerment
is multi-dimensional, and women empowered in one dimension are not necessarily
empowered in the other, it is essential to evaluate the significance of the
various forms of women empowerment on their livelihood outcome, in order to
inform policy.
have been found to contribute 60 percent of the labour force, produce 80
percent, of food, and earn 10 percent of the money income but own 1 percent of
the farm assets. Despite this obvious neglect of women’s position and
contributions to the agricultural sector, they have remained the fillers of the
nations food basket. The need therefore, to put things in the proper
perspective cannot be over emphasized. The time has come to be apprehensive of
the consequences of marginalizing women, there is now global recognition of the
benefits of involving women in the planning and execution of programme of
change and development (Adisa and Okunade 2011).
It is therefore
expedient that the vast potential inherent in the women folk be fully exploited
through a deliberate policy of women livelihood asset improvement. This will
not only ensure family food security but will also promote an overall
sustainable development.
The study therefore seek to proffer answers
to the following research questions:

What are the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents in the study area?

  What are the livelihood assets of women in the study area?

    What is the level of women access to the available livelihood assets?

   What livelihood strategies are adopted by the respondents in the study area?

   What are the major factors that determines women access to livelihood assets?


Adisa,    B.
O and Okunade E. O (2011). Women in Agriculture and Rural Development. A
publication of Agricultural Extension
Society of Nigeria (AESON) 2 (90).
Asmah, E.
E. (2011) Rural Livelihood Diversification and Agricultural Sector Reforms in
Ghana Africa Growth Initiative 3:53-49
Dada,    O.
M. (2011) Gender Issues in Agricultural and Rural Development. A position Paper
at Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology College of
Agricultural Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Yewa Campus Ayetoro Ogun
State, Nigeria.
Ellis F.(2000). The Determinants of Rural
Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries. Journal of Agricultural Economics 51 (2):289-302.
Food and Agricultural Organisation (2001)
Agricultural Censuses and Gender Consideration, Economic and Socio-Economic
Department FAO, Rome.
Gladwin C.H, Thomson A. M., Paterson J. S. Anderson
A. S. (2001) Addressing Food Security in Africa Via Multiple Livelihood
Strategies of Women Farmer. Food Policy
20 (2) 177-207.
Hussein K. and Nelson J. (1998). Sustainable
Livelihood and Livelihood Diversification IDS Working Paper 69 University of
IFAD (2011) Africa’s Potential Role in
Global Food Security: Mr. Koffi Annan, AGRA Chair, Keynote Address to the 34th
Session of IFAD’S Governing Council Viewed 26 March 2013.
Jonah, K. E. (2017) Dynamics of Rural
Livelihood Diversification in Akwa Ibom State Nigeria. Unpublished PhD Thesis,
University of Uyo, Uyo.
Udoh, A. J. (2015) Agricultural Innovations;
Extension Approaches in Theory and Practice for Food Security and Rural
Development. Published by MacBens and Sons, Uyo Akwa Ibom State.

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