Access to Farmland and Rural Women Livelihood: The Case of Enemay Woreda, East Gojjam Administrative Zone

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Addis Ababa University


This study deals with the rural women livelihood related to socio-cultural factors undermine social status, power, and decision making in access to farmland in Enemay Woreda, East Gojjam Zone. The study employed mixed method. In carrying out the study, in-depth interview, key informant, focus group discussions (qualitative methods), and household survey (quantitative methods) were employed. Secondary data were collected from secondary sources such as research articles, unpublished document, and books. A total of twenty-eight participants participated in the qualitative study including woreda and kebele officials. In addition, household survey questionnaire was administered to 141 women to collect quantitative data. Qualitative and quantitative data was analyzed based on objective of the study. The results obtained from the study show that farmland is an invaluable resource for women livelihood. During EPRDF land re-distribution (1996/7), most of women obtained a farmland but limited control over resources because their resources usually controlled by husbands. Due to the patriarchal attitudes of the community, men are decision makers, controlled and managed the resource of household, and women are dominated by husband. Lack of educational status of women, deprives their legal rights of manage and control over their resources. Women were restricted to plough their farmland by local community and they forced to give sharecroppers to obtain some production for livelihood. Particularly, FHHs could not manage the households since obtained small production from sharecroppers. They forced to find works for survival and obtain daily consumption such as selling traditional alcoholic beverages, daily laborer, and removing weeds. Thereby, the livelihood of FHHs has a painful living condition. Furthermore, women’s health condition is essential to attain income for their livelihood. However, their health condition status low being laborious worker. In general, gender-based discrimination and patriarchal attitudes of the community affected women’s access and control over farmland to their livelihood and health condition.



Farmland, Rural Women, Livelihood, Gender Discrimination, Patriarchy