Article DetailsArticle Details

The Role of Livelihood Choices on Women Economic Empowerment, the Case of Kilte Awlaelo Woreda, Tigray Region, Ethiopia

The Role of Livelihood Choices on Women Economic Empowerment, the Case of Kilte Awlaelo Woreda, Tigray Region, Ethiopia

Published January 7, 2016

Author Details


Feminist poverty is not only consequence of lack of income, but also the result of the deprivation of capabilities and gender biases. In Ethiopia, the women particularly the female-headed households suffer from economic poverty, social discrimination, and cultural challenges which undermine their human worth and dignity. This paper attempts to investigate the determinants of women economic empowerment in Ethiopia by examining the situation prevailing in one particular woreda kilte Awlaelo in Tigray region using the information gained from 196 women. Since the women economic empowerment level determined by different demographic and socioeconomic factors, this paper attempts Tobit model analysis to explore the possible determinants of the women economic empowerment. The result shows that the women economic empowerment level is considerably influenced by age, family size, education, access to media, asset holdings, marital status, livelihood choices, job training, access to credit service, access to self-help group, access to safety net, access to women group and transportation service. Apart from the other economic empowerment variables, a variable farming livelihood choice shows significant positive impact on the economic empowerment level. Additionally, to test the independency of asset holdings of the households across different livelihood choices (farming, trade and daily labor) chi square test were used; besides, to compare mean value of women economic empowerment level across livelihood choices ANOVA test were used. Finally, it recommended that the economic empowerment could improve by concentrating on the negative factors, which affects the rural women of the woreda, and consequently poverty levels will be reduced.


livelihood choices, empowerment, tobit


Abiyzegeye, AlemazehuWorku, Daniel Jefera, Melesegetu,

YilmaGileshi (2009). Introduction to Research Methods;

Preparatory Module for Addis Ababa University graduate

programs, by Graduate Studies and Research office, Addis

Ababa University.

Andrew F.Siegel and Charles J.Morgan (1996). An

introduction to statistics and data analysis. 2nd edition.

published by John Wiley and Son’s.

AsmamawEnquobahrie (2004). Understanding Poverty: The

Ethiopian Context. A Paper presented at the Gambia

AAPAM Roundtable Conference. April 19 - 23, 2004.


Brian Pratt and Lucy Earle (2004). Study on Effective

Empowerment of Citizens in Ethiopia.Overview paper.C.R. Kothari, (1990). Research Methodology: methods and

Techniques. 2nd edition. New age international publisher.

Caroline Ashley and Christopher LaFranchi (1997).

Livelihood strategies of rural householdsinCaprivi:

Implications for conservancies and natural resource

management. Research discussion paper. Namibia.

CathrynTurton (2000). The Sustainable Livelihoods

Approach and Program Development in Cambodia.

Working paper 130.Overseas Development Institute,

Portland House. UK.

CSA (2007). Summary & statistical Report of the 2007

population & housing Census. AddisAbaba, Ethiopia.

Damodar N. Gujarati (2004). Basic econometrics. 4th


EEA (2007/08). Report on the Ethiopian Economy. Volume

EEA (2010). Manual for Training on Qualitative Research

Methods. Addis Ababa.

FDRE (2003). Ethiopian sample enumeration, 2001/02

results for Tigray Region. Statistical report on socioeconomic

characteristics of the population in agricultural

households and land use, part 1, Addis Ababa.

FekaduGelaw (2010). The dynamic relationship among

poverty, inequality, and growth in rural Ethiopia: micro

evidence. Journal of Development and Agricultural

Economics,Vol.2(5), pp. 197-208.

Fiona Meehan (December 2004). Female-Headed

Households in Tigray, Ethiopia. It is a Study Review,DCG

Report No. 35.

Frank S. Arku and Cynthia Arku (2011). Development

studies discourse: How gender sensitive are sustainable

livelihood frameworks. International Journal of Peace and

Development Studies, Vol. 2(3), pp. 67-74.

Franklin Peter Simtowe (2010). Livelihoods diversification

and gender in Malawi.African Journal of Agricultural

Research, Vol. 5(3), pp. 204-216.

GetanehGobezie (2010). Empowerment of Women in Rural

Ethiopia: A Review of Two Microfinance Models. Ethiopia.

Hailu Araya and Sue Edwards (2006). The Tigray

Experience, a Success Story in Sustainable Agriculture.

Third World Network (TWN), Penang, Malaysia.

Sustainable Livelihoods: Concepts, Principles and

Approaches to Indicator Development.

Ian Scoones(1997). Sustainable Rural Livelihood a

Framework for Analysis. IDS Working paper 72.

IDS (2000). Livelihood diversification in southern Ethiopia.

IDS working paper 117.Grace Carswell.

ILRI (2010).Opportunities for promoting gender equality

inrural Ethiopia through the commercialization of

agriculture. Working paper, No.18, Ireland.

Imran Sharif Chaudhry and FarhanaNosheen (2009).The

determinant of women empowerment in southern

Punjab, Pakistan; an empirical analysis. Department of

economics, BahauddinZakariyaUniversity Multan.

Karim Hussein and John Nelson (1997). Sustainable

livelihood and Livelihood diversification. IDS Working

Paper 69.

Lasse Krantz (2001).The sustainable Livelihood Approach

to Poverty Reduction. Sida. Division for Policy and Socio-

Economic Analysis.

MoFED (2010). Growth and Transformation plan. Volume

Main text Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

MoFED (2008). Dynamics of Growth and Poverty in

Ethiopia (1995/96-2004/05). Development Planning

and Research Department (DPRD). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mosiur Rahman, Uzzal K. Karmaker and Abdur R. Mai

(2007). Determinant of women empowerment at domestic

and non-domestic issues; evidence from ChapaiNawabganj

district in Bangladesh. Dhaulagiri journal of sociology and

anthropology. volume 3.

MuletaSharew (2008).The Implication of Microfinance on

Empowering women and Sustainable Livelihood: a

case study at Oromiya credit and saving Share Company inHitosaworeda, Arsi zone.MA thesis. Addis Ababa


NailaKabeer (2000). Leaving the Rice Fields, But Not the

Countryside: Gender, Livelihood Diversification and

Pro-Poor Growth in Rural Viet Na. Research by UNRISD.

OECD (April 2011). Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Issues paper.

Olivier Serrat (2008/15). The Sustainable Livelihoods

Approach. Paper of knowledge solution.

Per Knutsson (2006). The Sustainable Livelihoods

Approach: A Framework for Knowledge Integration

Assessment. Human Ecology Section School of Global

Studies. Göteborg University.

Pitamber &J.Coompson (2004).Appraisal Report

Institutional Support Project to the Women’s Affairs Office

Federal Republic of Ethiopia.

Sara Noreen (2011). Role of Microfinance in Empowerment

of Female Population of Bahawalpur district,

Pakistan” PhD dissertation. volume 4.

Sara Worku (2007). Livelihood strategies of rural women

with emphasis on income diversification and demographic

adjustment: The case of wolonkomi, Oromia region.

Working papers on population and land use change. Central


ShahnajParveen and Ingrid-Ute Leonhauser (2004).

Empowerment of Rural Women in Bangladesh: A

Household Level Analysis. Department of Agricultural

Extension Education. Bangladesh Agricultural University.


TarekegnShado (2006). Challenges of sustainable

livelihood: the case of fishing communities around

Lake Chamo. Master’s thesis in AAU.

Tariq mahmood Khan (2010). Socio-cultural determinants

of women’s empowerment in Punjab, Pakistan. PhD


TeshomeAdugna (2010).New multidimensional poverty

measurements and economic performance in Ethiopia.

UNDP (2010). Human Development Report 2010.

thEdition. On the Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to

Human Development.

UNFPA (2008). Gender inequality and women’s

empowerment;Ethiopian Society of Population Studies. Indepth

Analysis of the Ethiopian Demographic and Health

Survey 2005. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

USAID (2006).Women in the Economy: a Review of Recent

Literature, review by the United States Agency for

International Development. It was prepared by AmaMarston

with Kara Nichols Barrett, Development and Training

Services, Inc. (DTS).

Yigremew Adal (2005). Rural women’s access to land in

Ethiopia. Forum for Social Studies. Addis Ababa,


to our newsletter

to our newsletter