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Quantifying women's and men's rural resource portfolios - empirical evidence from Western Shoa in Ethiopia


  • Åsa Torkelsson
  • Bekele Tassew


It has been observed in many places that women access fewer resources than men across the range of resources in rural households. This unequal starting point inhibits the process of resource capitalization of women, and their capacity to move out of poverty. This article assesses the gender asset gap systematically, using data from two formal surveys undertaken in 2006 in rural Ethiopia, covering a probability sample comprising 604 farming women and men. Ethnography is used to assist in the identification of the locally relevant resources, which are organized in accordance with the sustainable livelihoods approach. The empirical analysis is dedicated to the assessment of women's and men's access to the identified range of rural resources, using descriptive statistics, and a specific analytical eye focuses on those women who head their own households. Doing so, the article quantifies the inequalities in resource access of women and men.

Suggested Citation

  • Åsa Torkelsson & Bekele Tassew, 2008. "Quantifying women's and men's rural resource portfolios - empirical evidence from Western Shoa in Ethiopia," The European Journal of Development Research, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 462-481.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjdr:v:20:y:2008:i:3:p:462-481
    DOI: 10.1080/09578810802237623

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