Opportunities, Challenges and Coping Mechanisms of Women Headed Households in AkakiKality Sub-city, Woreda 5

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Addis Ababa University


This study describes the opportunities, challenges, and coping mechanisms of women-headed households. The study adopted the constructivist philosophical stance and phenomenological research design. Women who led their household had been considered as a unit of analysis. Thus, purposive sampling was employed to gather data from women who led their household; twenty women participated in in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions were held with 16 women in two groups who led their household. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the research findings data. The study identified the main social and economic challenges of women heading their households. The main social challenges were abandonment, abstinence in social life, psycho-social, economic influence in their children, and stigma. The economic challenges include low income, poverty, losing control over the property. Women who headed a household used different coping mechanisms to address their social and economic challenges. The main coping mechanisms to address the social challenges were being believers and sympathy of the community towards women headed families. To address the economic challenges is working hard, selling different properties, andreducing their living standard to adopt the new situation. Although women-headed households faced social and economic challenges there were social and economic opportunities they experienced in their living. The main social opportunities were able to lead their households because of the absence of their male partner and participate in public activates. And the economic opportunities were involved to income-generating activities, business management, and developing decision-making abilities. It indicated that Women who lead their households faced socio-economic challenges and they need professional and strategic supports in addition to their coping mechanisms.



Opportunities, Challenges and Coping Mechanism of Women Headed Households