Challenges of Rural Women’s Livelihoods and Coping Strategies; The Case of Boloso Sore Woreda, Wolayta Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia
Although rural-urban migration is dominated by women nationally in Ethiopia, the feature of out migration from certain parts of the country has been largely men’s affair. Little is known how the livelihood of women is affected in the long run when their counterparts migrate out and the former assume the virtual headship of their households’ in Ethiopia. This study is therefore, intended to assess how women cope with in the absence of their husbands and support their family and identifies the major socioeconomic and institutional factors that influence their effort to improve their livelihood. In the study, descriptive design was employed. Generally. sample size of 112 sample households was determined by using S = X2 NP (1-P) ÷ d2 (N-1) + X2P (1-P),such that 20 male households, 80 de facto women households, four chairman of kebeles, four experts from office of agriculture and four aged person from four rural kebeles were included by using multi stage sampling method. The study employed questionnaires, interviews, document reviewing and discussion with focus groups. On the basis and types of data gathered and the instrument used, both quantitative and qualitative techniques of data analysis supported by SPSS were employed. In order to calculate economic welfare loss, I used the change in price and the change in quantity demanded of goods and services. The formula to make the calculation is: Welfare Loss = 0. 5 * (P2 - P1) * (Q1 - Q2).The result of the study indicates that male-out migration has greatly affected the livelihood of the women who are left behind. The labor gap created due to the absence of male head has negatively affected the agricultural production and the natural resource conservation activity in the study area. Thus, to improve the lives of de facto women heads by mitigating the social, economic and cultural barriers which hinder their effort to win a decent livelihood, certain recommendation, gleaned out from this study were suggested to the concerned bodies.
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