Poverty, Gender and Education in Lesotho

  • T Makatjane


The present study used the 2001 Lesotho Demographic Survey to investigate differences in poverty between male and female headed households in Lesotho. Constructed quality of housing and amenities, economic characteristics of household members aged 10 years and above as well as children’s participation in education were used as proxies for household well-being. The data consist of more than sixteen thousand households with more than 28 thousand children aged 5-18 years. Both descriptive and multivariate regression analysis were used in the study. Generally males head the majority of households in Lesotho and are concentrated in male headed households. Male heads were currently married while female heads were previously married. Male headed households were economically better off than female headed households. Similar variables were found to be influencing constructed household wealth in both male and female headed households. Orphaned children’s participation in education was at par with the other children if they resided in female headed households while child birth experience disadvantages female children. Introduction of free primary education has not eliminated differences in participation rates between male and female children while female children’s participation in education is enhanced if they reside in male headed households.

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eISSN: 1024-4190