Women and rural poverty is a consistent topic in research. This work analyzed the roles women play in combating rural poverty in Ohaozara L.G.A of Ebonyi state.
Women and Rural Poverty – Ohaozara L.G.A
120 women were randomly selected through multi-stage sampling technique method whereas data were collected using questionnaire and interview schedule. Inferential and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the obtained data.
The result showed that majority (29.17%) were between 31 – 40 years old while 45.83% had household size of between 6 – 8 persons.
Also, it was observed that 53.33% had farm size of between 0.5 – 1.0 hectare while 39.17% had obtained secondary school education alone. 38.33% had earned between ₦50,000 – ₦80,000 from their farms with a mean annual saving of N33,500.
It was shown also most of the women (68.33%) belonged to religious organization.
Poverty prevalence among the women in Ohaozara L.G.A was (0.692) representing 69.2 percent of the women while consumption expenditure level was below the poverty line the poverty depth at 0.419 representing 42.00% whose average consumption expenditure was below the poverty line.
The severity of poverty index was 0.1567 which represents the poorest among the poor women who require the attention of policy makers in the distribution of the standard of living indicators, such as health care services, clean water and income generating activities.
Furthermore, 85.83% of the women surveyed were poor. This implied that more women fell below poverty line in the study area.
The roles of women in combating rural poverty were; helping in their husbands’ business, assisting in income generation, engaging in menial jobs, and helping to coordinate labour for farm work.
The R-square value was high at 82.54%, indicating that about 82.54% variation in the explained variable (ability of women to combat rural poverty) was as a result of the combined effects of the explanatory variables (socio-economic factors) included in the regression model.
The challenges rural women faced in combating poverty were; Poor acquisition of education and poor access to credit. The null hypothesis was rejected and the alternative which stated that socio-economic characteristics of women do significantly influence their ability to combat rural poverty in Ohaozara L.G.A of Ebonyi state was accepted.
In conclusion, there is evidence that poverty was existing among the rural women in the study area.
Among the recommendations were that; Government and its ministry of agriculture should encourage women in agriculture by empowering them to cultivate larger hectares of land and women should be encouraged to obtain higher educational qualifications in order to increase their ability to combat rural poverty.