Factors influencing female food-for-work participation in the Southern Shoa region of Ethiopia
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This study analyzes the factors influencing female food-for-work (FFW) participation in the Southern Shoa region of Ethiopia. The objectives are to determine the significant factors that affect women's participation in FFW projects and to explain this behavior with socio-economic and other factors. Using data from a public works project conducted in 1991 by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Ethiopian Nutrition Institute (ENI) and the Institute of National Nutrition (INN), analyses were done on a sample of 655 females from three awrajas (districts) in Southern Shoa. The sample consisted of 28.4 percent females who participated in FFW and 71.6 percent who did not participate in FFW activities. More than 85 percent of the female sample had no education, over half were single and 48 percent of the women were unemployed. A logit probability model was used to explain women's participation in FFW projects. The results indicate that family size, occupation, marital status, reproductive status, total non-food expenditures, amount of output sold from agricultural production, women's wages from FFW and wages from other agricultural work were the most significant factors influencing female FFW participation. The family size variable had the most significant impact on increasing women's probability of participating in FFW projects. For the study's sample, women with larger family sizes are more likely to participate in FFW projects. Those who are not gainfully employed are also more likely to participate in FFW activities since they view FFW as a source of employment. Women in polygamous households are less likely to participate in FFW than women in monogamous households. In terms of a woman's reproductive status, those who are not pregnant and not lactating are more likely to participate in FFW programs. It was found that the greater the non-food expenditures incurred by the household, the more likely women participate in FFW; the less output sold from agricultural production, the greater the likelihood that women engage in FFW; the higher a woman's wages from FFW, the more they were attracted to FFW programs; and interestingly, the higher the wages from agricultural work (non-FFW), the more likely they participate in FFW activities.
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