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The chronic poverty report Escaping poverty traps. Manchester: Chronic Poverty Research Centre.

How can the chronically poor escape poverty? Chronic poverty is a varied and complex phenomenon, but at its root is powerlessness.

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Poor people expend enormous energy in trying to escape poverty, but with few assets, little education, and chronic ill health, their struggle is often unsuccessful. This report draws on years of research by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre and suggests policies to attack the multiple and overlapping causes of chronic poverty.

Greenhill, R. Financing the future: How international public finance should fund a global social compact to eradicate poverty. London: ODI. Should international public finance fund a global social compact to eradicate poverty? The proposed Sustainable Development Goals are achievable if we do not adopt a business-as-usual approach. Projections based on current patterns of development suggest that in i low-income fragile states will have been left even further behind; ii some million people will still be living on less than USD 1.

These outcomes are avoidable if public finance is invested in eradicating poverty in an adaptive and politically smart way, focusing on social protection, universal health coverage, and universal primary and secondary education. Eradicating extreme poverty by will require mechanisms to reduce inequality and share the fruits of economic growth. Handley, G. What can be done to deliver the sustainable and broad-based economic growth required to address this?

This report highlights the principal drivers and maintainers of poverty in SSA and discusses selected policies for economic development and poverty reduction. One of the main failings of development policies advocated by aid agencies has been an overly prescriptive, one-size-fits-all mentality that does not take into account country-specific constraints.


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Haughton, J. Handbook on poverty and inequality. Washington, DC: World Bank. The Handbook provides tools to measure, describe, monitor, evaluate, and analyse poverty and inequality. It evaluates the strengths and weaknesses and different arguments around these different tools.

It provides background materials for designing poverty reduction strategies. Hulme, D. Global Poverty: How global governance is failing the poor.


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  5. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Why has eradiating poverty not been a more urgent global issue? This book outlines how the concept of global poverty eradication has evolved, and evaluates institutions and their ability to reduce global poverty. The problem lies not with lack of global resources and technology, but with global governance. The world is organised in such a way that huge numbers of people have little or no access to basic human needs. Satterthwaite, D. Reducing urban poverty in the global south.

    Abingdon: Routledge. Increasing numbers of poor people live in urban areas. Despite their proximity to possible advantage, they are highly disadvantaged, with poor or non-existent public services, high levels of violence and desperate living conditions. National and local governments and international organisations can become far more effective at addressing urban poverty at scale by working with and supporting the urban poor and their organisations.

    Shepherd, A. Tackling chronic poverty: The policy implications of research on chronic poverty and poverty dynamics. This paper gathers the lessons from ten years of research by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre. It outlines the changes in policy emphasis required in five key areas to achieve greater progress in the eradication of poverty and deprivation. If the chronically poor are to escape poverty beyond , they require additional policies and political commitment, underpinned by greater understanding and analysis. The geography of poverty, disasters and climate extremes in How serious a threat do disasters and climate change pose to our prospects of eliminating extreme poverty in the next two decades?

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    In Bangladesh, the larger number of rural women migrating for work opportunities in urban areas were unmarried and divorced, with only basic levels of education Davies et al. Oberhauser et al.

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    For instance, women in Porto Novo were said to be indulging in selling food as it brought regular income and created an avenue for food availability for their families Oberhauser et al. In countries such as Pennsylvania and South Africa, this freedom of choice has enabled women to hold relative decision-making powers on what is best for their families Oberhauser et al. For countries in semi-arid regions, such as Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, the choice of livelihoods is affected by various challenges; some of these are natural such as droughts, cyclones and other aspects that are detrimental to the execution of livelihood strategies Campbell et al.

    Resilient communities use ways to manage risks that promote sustainable development and enable transformation. The context that makes a sustainable livelihoods theory relevant to resilience building empowerment of women and reduction of poverty is the increased exposure to risks and vulnerabilities faced by rural women on livelihoods Davies et al. This article focuses on building resilient livelihoods in order to empower rural women.

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    In a study by Nelson and Stathers , resilience in the socio-ecological context refers to the process of using resources, abilities and adaptation capacities to cushion shocks and stresses while ensuring self-organisation and enabling recovery. Birkmann and Davies et al.


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    Therefore, resilience becomes a process of cushioning shocks and stresses arising by using different resources and capacities to achieve a state of adaptation. A resilient system has the potential to achieve sustainability and security Klein et al. Resilience means despite the shocks, stresses and other extreme events, the systems will still have the same identity, same structures and function in the same way Folke et al.

    Pathways to sustainable resilient livelihoods call for a number of actions to be considered that promote the empowerment of rural women and household well-being. Rural women in semi-arid regions face challenges in dealing with disasters, shocks and stresses that arise because they lack access to information and coping mechanisms Davies Livelihoods in Chivi District depend on crop production, which is highly seasonal; small livestock production like chickens and goats, maricho casual employment in wealthier households; and, in some cases, gold panning, especially in areas along Runde River WFP Resource endowments in this area are poor, and the area is susceptible to extreme natural hazards caused by climatic changes such as droughts, floods and heat waves.

    Poverty levels are very high and women emerge as the most vulnerable WFP In this article, resilience promotes ways in which rural women deal with challenges arising from their own environments. Resilient livelihoods are important for fostering human well-being, better living standards and accelerating access to basic needs by empowering women economically Pelling Some authors argue that there is no sustainability without resilience and that any development strategy formulated will not be sustainable if it is not resilient Klein et al.

    The social aspect of resilience was added as scholars acknowledged the importance of humans with their ability to visualise, foresee, predict and plan which enhances the resilience of a system Perrings Therefore, resilient livelihoods may also enable communities to survive disasters and poverty, and achieve sustainability. The review revealed the importance of promoting resilience building through livelihoods for the empowerment of rural women and households.

    The importance of empowering women is imperative in ensuring that rural women have access to resources that are needed by their households. As alluded in previous literature, the importance of rural women in development and the roles played by women in societies will be more defined with more positive effects if they have resilient livelihoods. Agriculture tends to receive more attention from people, organisations and the government in terms of funding, subsidies and research.

    In another study by Matondi , rural populations in Zimbabwe attempt to secure their livelihoods by focusing on both crop production and animal production. In other studies by Matondi and Mutami and Chazovachii , it was noted that market gardening, pottery, traditional beer brewing, sewing and crocheting as well as buying and selling of small commodities have provided for extra income needed during off-seasons and extra occupations in a season. Chivi District is situated 60 km — 70 km southwest of Masvingo town in Zimbabwe.

    Poor soils in this area cannot produce good yields without the use of fertilisers or manure, which are not readily available to all households.

    International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

    The pressure on land is increasing with the rapid population growth rate. The surveyed villages are Jenya village, which falls in Ward 7; Zhara village which falls in Ward 20; and Hapazari and Charashika villages, which fall in Ward According to the census data, the district has a recorded population of people, with The total Individual households have about 1. This has led to settlements on marginal land such as grazing areas, which has affected livestock keeping; the number of animals kept decreasing. A shift from maize production was also noted in some of the studies with farmers preferring small grain like sorghum and millet as these crops are more drought resistant Mutopo Rural women in this area also dominate with a larger number of women than men; however, access to and control of resources remain a male-dominated area Makura-Paradza These challenges that women face have led them to come up with coping strategies that cushion these challenges such as diversification of livelihoods and adoption of non-farm activities for income.

    The map Figure 1 shows the case study area location in Zimbabwe. The sustainable development goals SDGs pushed for gender equality and the empowerment of women in all areas to achieve sustainable development Hak et al. Rural women spend most of their time working on unpaid chores and lack opportunities such as access to resources, to make their time a lot more productive.

    The larger number of people in the rural areas are women; according to Zimstats , the number of women in Chivi District is 90 , while that of men is 75 In most cases, rural areas are behind in development and well-being of the larger number of people; this is because of poor or lack of access to resources such as new technologies and improved methods of doing things, and lack of capital to diversify and improve their livelihoods.

    This is also increased by the fact that most parts of Zimbabwe are patriarchal societies that have socio-cultural and political notions in favour of men Mutopo Patriarchy has led to the marginalisation of women in accessing productive resources, markets and services. There is a wide recognition by scholars and other development players that in most countries, women in agriculture face much more challenges than their male counterparts Mutopo ; Oberhauser et al. This has led to a call for governments and institutions of development to include women in all developmental strategies, policies and legislation, so as to ensure that they reach their full capacity FAO Sustainability of agricultural development calls for the closure of gender gaps; the argument is that this closure would bring about an increase in agricultural productivity, reduction of hunger and poverty as well as the promotion of economic growth FAO This equality should also be incorporated even at household levels where women should be empowered to make major decisions and have access to resources and household income; this would be ideal because it would strengthen the position of women outside the home as well.

    The sustainable livelihoods framework is undeniably helpful in the understanding of rural livelihoods and their sustainability. This framework was used to understand in particular the nature of livelihoods of rural women in Chivi District. It is helpful to the understanding of the distribution of work and chores within households between men and women Chirau et al. The framework is also helpful in the understanding of socio-cultural, economic and political factors at play and how they are restrictive or supportive in the sustainability of rural livelihoods, especially those of women Makura-Paradza Although the approach emphasises the strengths of people, it largely encompasses issues supporting environmental, socio-economic and institutional stability.

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    The SLF focuses on five forms of capitals or assets important to the sustainability of livelihoods, which are human, social, physical, natural and financial upon which people build their livelihoods. The implementation of the SLF begins by looking at the available assets of an individual or households; these are the things owned and controlled by a family Scoones These assets allow the people to survive, engage in markets and participate in various activities within a community. The framework has also become popular as a way of conceptualising the economic activities of disadvantaged people in communities.

    The argument is that livelihoods are all about assets, systems, structures, sources of subsistence, income and position in societies Vercillo A livelihood is believed to be sustainable if it can survive various shocks and stresses that arise Scoones The SLF has five major sections which are vulnerability context, livelihood assets, transforming processes and structures, livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes Scoones On vulnerability context, the framework dwells on the trends, seasonality, as well as shocks and stresses that have an impact on the decision made by people on livelihoods.

    These challenges include lack of access to resources, climate change, gender roles and lack of capital. The asset briefcase holds human capital that includes education, skills and labour capacity of people to pursue a certain activity Scoones Social capital includes the status bearing of women in societies and the need to eradicate discriminatory notions, family and community support as a social capital helps to support the promotion of sustainable livelihoods. Natural capital is the access to natural resources which promote the livelihoods such as land.

    According to Mutopo , rural women lack access to productive resources such as capital and land which hinder the viability of their livelihoods. Financial capital is related to access to credit and finance resources; rural people lack access to credit facilities because of lack of assets they can use as collateral; land ownership is communal and not by title deeds which make it difficult to build assets for credit Mutopo Physical capital entails the infrastructure that is available to women which improve their access to water, health care, housing, communication and other social services that people draw from for sustainability of livelihoods Vercillo The transforming structures are referred to as those institutions and organisations affecting the use of various capitals people have in order to pursue their livelihoods Vercillo Rural women pursue these livelihoods to earn income and achieve households, family well-being, security and other productive things of life.