Gendered Livelihoods, Institutions and Generational Livelihood Continuity Paths among Rural Households in Nigeria.

Authors: Margaret Adesugba*, Newcastle University, Elizabeth Oughton, Newcastle University, Sally Shortall, Newcastle University
Topics: Africa, Gender, Qualitative Research
Keywords: Livelihoods, gender, institutions, rural, Africa
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 33
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study seeks to understand the types of livelihoods forged across gender, space and time and how informal institutions influence livelihood choices. It uses both qualitative and quantitative data collected from individuals from 12 rural communities in Kwara state Nigeria. Results indicate that people’s livelihood choices in rural areas remains gendered and depend on the opportunities that they have access to. Agricultural livelihoods overshadow non-agricultural livelihood options and yet the agricultural sector remains under-developed. The obligation for women to balance productive with reproductive gender roles continues to undermine what they can and have achieved. Informal institutions and institutional arrangements dominate formal ones and have more legitimacy in determining livelihood outcomes. They also give men more power than women. These continue to reinforce gender inequality and undermine women’s position and power to negotiate decisions both within the household and community. Most decisions on the choice of generational livelihood paths are economic for both men and women. However, the likelihood for agricultural livelihoods to transcend across generations is lower when children remain within the same rural community as their parents as opposed to non-agricultural livelihoods. From a policy perspective, engrained institutional barriers that continues to limit the prospects for women in rural areas to forge livelihoods outside their reproductive roles needs to be addressed.

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