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n Agrekon - Dimensions of empowerment influencing women in KwaZulu-Natal to diversify away from agricultural-based livelihoods

Volume 55, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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Abstract

Understanding how the different dimensions of women's empowerment influence their livelihood diversification strategies is indispensable to any attempt to empower them. Rural women diversify their livelihood strategies beyond agriculture despite its centrality to the rural economy. This study used the proportion of non-agricultural incomes to total household income as a measure of the degree of women's diversification away from agriculture in Msinga rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The Tobit regression model was used for investigating the dimensions of empowerment that influence women's decision to diversify away from agricultural-based livelihoods. It was found that women with higher levels of human and physical capital forms of empowerment, vocational and farm financial management skills were more likely to diversify away from agricultural-based livelihood activities. On the other hand, women with higher levels of social capital and legal resource empowerment were less likely to participate in non-farm activities. Socio-economic factors including being married and involvement in dry-land agriculture increased the likelihood of women to rely on non-agricultural incomes while higher husband's incomes and involvement in irrigation agriculture reduced the chances of women to diversify away from agriculture. It was concluded that certain dimensions of rural women's empowerment influence the extent to which they diversify livelihoods away from agriculture. Hence, this study suggests that policymakers need to consider using empowerment interventions such as human and physical capital forms of empowerment, vocational and farm financial management skills to increase women's diversification and reduce their household dependence on agriculture.

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/content/agrekon/55/1/EJC191358
2016-01-01
2020-10-28

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