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The visibility of women’s work for poverty reduction: implications from non-crop agricultural income-generating programs in Bangladesh

  • Rie Makita


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    This article explores mechanisms for making poor rural women’s work visible by drawing on Amartya Sen’s intra-family “cooperative conflict” theory to explain the workings of two Bangladesh non-governmental organization’s income-generating programs (rearing poultry and rearing silkworms). On the assumption that cooperation surpasses conflict in the intra-family relations when women’s work is visible, the article identifies factors that influence intra-family conflict and cooperation. At entry, cooperation in a family depends on how successfully the family can make women’s income-generating activities compatible with their existing household responsibilities and with continuation of the male breadwinner’s income source. In women’s continuing work, the level of cooperation depends greatly on the amount and frequency of women’s income and the family’s level of indebtedness. Families with a male breadwinner having a regular income source tended to offer a more cooperative environment to women’s work than those with a breadwinner involved in casual labor. Women’s work as a second regular income source can make their work more visible and contribute to their families’ upward mobility. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 379-390

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:26:y:2009:i:4:p:379-390
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    1. Goetz, Anne Marie & Gupta, Rina Sen, 1996. "Who takes the credit? Gender, power, and control over loan use in rural credit programs in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 45-63, January.
    2. Bina Agarwal, 1997. "''Bargaining'' and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-51.
    3. Zeller, Manfred & Sharma, Manohar & Ahmed, Akhter U. & Rashid, Shahidur, 2001. "Group-based financial institutions for the rural poor in Bangladesh: an institutional- and household-level analysis," Research reports 120, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Hashemi, Syed M. & Schuler, Sidney Ruth & Riley, Ann P., 1996. "Rural credit programs and women's empowerment in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 635-653, April.
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