Poverty, Female-headed Households, and Sustainable Economic Development

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Greenwood Press, 1998 - Business & Economics - 130 pages
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This book examines female-headed households (FHHs) in the world economy, aspects of their poverty, and the implications of those for sustainable development. Following a general discussion of FHHs in the world community, the work discusses FHHs in two regions of India, one being an example of unsuccesssful development and the other of successful development. The research is based on fieldwork in five rural villages. One village, comprising mostly female-headed households, provided a unique case study. The other four villages include both male- and female-headed households with a high proportion of female-headed households.

The authors found that female-headed households dominate the poorer sections of the community, and women's access to resources is limited by cultural, social, and economic influences. Women, particularly those in FHHs, bear the heaviest burdens in times of economic hardship. These women face more forms of discrimination outside the home than women from male-headed households. They have fewer customary rights but greater freedom of movement and more opportunities for paid employment. The authors go on to show that the benefits of government development programs have not reached remote areas. The trickle-down approach has not worked, but sustainable development programs focusing on women's development and self-responsiblity have helped to lift the economic status of women in general and FHHs in particular.

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A Worldwide Perspective
Theoretical Perspective
Socioeconomic Status of Third World Women with Reference

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About the author (1998)

NERINA VECCHIO is a Teaching Fellow at Bond University and Senior teaching Fellow at Griffith University in Australia. Her area of research is women's studies, including economic and sociological concepts.

KARTIK C. ROY is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland in Australia and the current secretary general of the International Institute for Development Studies in India./e He is the coeditor of Economic Development and Women in the World Community (Praeger, 1996).

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