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Title: Gender and rural household livelihood strategies : a case study of Murta (non-wood forest product) industry in the rural Sylhet region in Bangladesh
Author: Saha, Subrata
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 2013
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2006
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Research and debates on gender have shown in the past 20-30 years the importance of gender relations to the realisation or achievement of women's development or lack of advancement. This thesis addresses two major themes: firstly, it links a detailed study of intra-household social relations in rural household livelihood strategies; and secondly examines empirically the relationship between women's participation in Non-Wood Forest Product (NWFP), in this case murta (a herbaceous reed) production and processing; and the position and status of women as well as men within their households through gender analysis of rural livelihood strategies among poor households in one village, in Sylhet district, Bangladesh. Murta is one of the major income generating activities in which women in poorer households are engaged to meet their subsistence needs. The research used a qualitative case study approach to understand gender and household livelihood strategies among the poor. A gender analysis of the division of labour was made relating to assets, access and activities; the culturally contracted terms about the division of resources and the pattern of negotiations that take place between household members among selected cases. The second section of this thesis examines women's and men's status defined in the following terms: i) their control over resources; ii) their decision-making power within their households; iii) the recognition women receive for their work from household members and the village community; iv) culturally constructed rules about social status. This study shows that income contribution has not improved women's relative well-being. The study on social relations improves understanding of the household's livelihood strategies more holistically by recognising gender inequalities in resources and status through the terms of cultural rules and negotiations. This study concludes with suggestions for policy interventions as follows: in future the government and NGOs planning for gender and development programmes in rural livelihoods need to look beyond the roles to understand the cultural rules as status signifiers that are placed on how people construct their livelihoods; but planning also need to address the joint interests of negotiations over gender relations at household level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available