Examination of Poverty Gender Gap among Households in Ukwuani Local Government area of Delta State, Nigeria
This study was carried out to estimate poverty gap among female and male headed farm families in Ukwani local government area (LGA) of Delta State, Nigeria. Simple random sampling technique was used to select seven out of the 10 communities that make up the LGA. From each of these selected communities 10 respondents were selected from a list of farm families drawn with assistance of extension officers covering the area. This gave a total sample size of 70 respondents. The study was conducted in 2012. Various methods were employed in analyzing the data, including descriptive statistical tools and inferential statistics such as t-test and ordinary least square regression analysis. Results of the study indicate that the farmers were characteristically smallholders with about 50% of males and 83% of female household heads having not more than 1.50 hectares of farm. On the poverty levels of the households, it was found that the core poverty and moderate poverty lines for male, female and all households were N4078, N2217 and N3376 and N8146, N5435 and N6752 respectively. This implies that poverty was wide spread among the farm households especially the female headed ones. A test analysis to determine the effect of selected socioeconomic characteristics of the household heads on their levels of poverty indicates that four variables were significantly related to the household poverty levels, namely level of formal education, family size, farm size and household monthly income (P ≤ 0.05). A number of recommendations were made including the need for family planning among the rural households so that they produce only the number of children they can take care of to guarantee them minimum acceptable standard of living.
Key words: gender gap, poverty, households, Delta State, male headed households, female headed households