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Women Left Behind? : Poverty and Headship in Africa

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World Bank (WB)

Abstract: This paper is motivated by two stylized facts about poverty in Africa: female-headed households tend to be poorer, and poverty has been falling in the aggregate since the 1990s. These facts raise two questions: How have female-headed households fared? And what role have they played in Africas impressive recent aggregate growth and poverty reduction? Using data covering the entire region, the paper reexamines the current prevalence and characteristics of female-headed households, and asks whether their prevalence has been rising over time, what factors have been associated with such changes since the mid-1990s, and whether poverty has fallen equi-proportionately for male- and female-headed households. Rising gross domestic product has dampened rising female headship. However, other subtle transformations occurring across Africa—changes in marriage behavior, family formation, health, and education—have put upward pressure on female headship, with the result that the share of female-headed households has been growing. This has been happening alongside declining aggregate poverty incidence. However, rather than being left behind, female-headed households have generally seen faster poverty reduction. As a whole, this group has contributed almost as much to the reduction in poverty as male-headed households, despite the smaller share of female-headed households in the population.
Type: Working Paper
Publications & Research
Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper
Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10986/22212
Subject: SANITATION
LIVING STANDARDS
PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION
FEMALE EDUCATION
HOUSEHOLD SURVEY
HOUSEHOLD SIZE
CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES
SOCIAL NORMS
POVERTY LINE
ECONOMIC GROWTH
GENDER INEQUALITY
KINSHIP
URBANIZATION
LOCAL ECONOMY
SPOUSE
INCOME
FAMILY STRUCTURE
POVERTY RATES
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
FAMILY WELFARE
LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION
RESOURCE ALLOCATION
LABOR FORCE
FEMALE LIFE EXPECTANCY
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
SINGLE MOTHERHOOD
PUBLIC SERVICES
DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS
FOOD POLICY
IMPACT ON CHILDREN
POLICY DISCUSSIONS
POOR PEOPLE
VULNERABILITY
FEMALE- HEADED HOUSEHOLDS
CONFLICT
MEASURES
POVERTY MEASURES
SINGLE MOTHERS
LIFE EXPECTANCY
INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
POVERTY REDUCTION
KNOWLEDGE
ARMED CONFLICT
SOCIAL IMPACT
SURVIVAL ADVANTAGE
DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
POPULATION DIVISION
POVERTY INCIDENCE
MIGRATION
TRANSFERS
AGE DISTRIBUTION
ECONOMIC CHANGES
INTERNATIONAL POVERTY LINE
HIV INFECTION
HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS
MARRIAGE
CULTURAL CHANGE
DEPENDENCY RATIO
DEPENDENCY RATIOS
NATURAL RESOURCES
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT
CURRENT POPULATION
AGE AT MARRIAGE
MORTALITY
HOUSEHOLD HEADS
STATUS OF WOMEN
RESPECT
PROGRESS
UNIONS
AIDS DEATHS
SCHOOL YEAR
HUMAN CAPITAL
INFANT
MIGRANT
FOOD SECURITY
FEWER YEARS OF EDUCATION
POVERTY COMPARISONS
POLICIES
POPULATION STUDIES
FEMALE-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS
HIV
POLYGAMY
WOMAN
POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER
ECONOMIC STATUS
DIVORCE
DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE
FAMILY FORMATION
SMALLER HOUSEHOLDS
URBAN AREAS
KIDS
POPULATION COUNCIL
RURAL
NUTRITION
POPULATIONS
EDUCATION OF WOMEN
BULLETIN
POPULATION ESTIMATES
POLICY
CHILD MORTALITY
HUSBANDS
SOCIAL AFFAIRS
SEX
TARGETING
HUMAN RIGHTS
MINORITY
HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION PER CAPITA
WORLD POPULATION
POVERTY
FEMALE LABOR FORCE
FIRST MARRIAGE
INCIDENCE OF POVERTY
HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION
POPULATION
MARITAL STATUS
POOR LIVING
HOUSEHOLD WELFARE
MARRIED WOMEN
POLICY RESEARCH
POOR
FERTILITY
WOMEN
NEWBORN
REMITTANCES
LABOR MARKETS
AIDS
POVERTY ASSESSMENTS
URBAN POPULATION
IMPACT OF AIDS
PEACE
LEGAL RIGHTS
EXTENDED FAMILY
POVERTY INCREASE
DEVELOPMENT POLICY
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
INEQUALITY
SANITATION FACILITIES




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