The Gender Perspective of Household Food Security in Meskan District of the Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia
AbstractDespite the considerable number of rural women in Ethiopia and their
contribution in food production, processing , preparation and provision,
they are often neglected and deprived of services and amenities which leads to their vulnerability to poverty, food insecurity, gender bias and effects of environmental change. Accordingly, the principal objective of this study is to assess the food security situation and the type of coping strategies pursued by female and male- headed households in two kebeles of Meskan District of the Gurage Zone, Ethiopia. The findings of the study indicated that femaleheaded households compared to male-headed households are found at a low level of food security and are non- self sufficient in terms of the food requirement of their households and the amount they produce within a year. A number of factors cause the difference in food security status between
female and male-headed households as discussed in detail in this paper. The paper winds up by concluding that granting a piece of land by itself could not end the food insecurity problem of female-headed households as these households are constrained by lack of access to important factors of production such as labor, plough oxen and credit and other agricultural inputs. Moreover, cultural and social constraints in a form of gender biased customs, stereotypes and misconceptions about women are the major challenges for female-headed households in the study area.
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