Land, Assets, and Livelihoods: Gendered Analysis of Evidence from Odisha State in India

36 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2014

Date Written: February 2014

Abstract

Although asset-based approaches for studying poverty have shown that the portfolio of assets households own or can access influences livelihood strategies and a variety of development outcomes, there is little research unpacking gendered dimensions of asset ownership in diverse contexts. Using data collected from the evaluation of two government land titling interventions in the Indian state of Odisha, this paper examines key relationships linking land and livelihood strategies. The investigation is one of the first to explicitly use the Gender, Agriculture, and Assets Project framework to gain additional insights on how gender-asset dynamics relate to household livelihood strategies. Our results point to a gender-segregated wage labor market, where employment opportunities for rural women are limited; education for both men and women can enable the adoption of more food secure livelihood strategies; and a significant link exists between households that adopt more food secure livelihood strategies and the amount of land they can access, whether they own the land, and the share of land owned by the woman. These results suggest that development interventions to enable households to adopt improved livelihood strategies must consider the gendered context in which they operate, including men and women’s employment opportunities, their skills and asset holdings, and make explicit efforts to address constraints in order to facilitate improved development outcomes.

Keywords: India, South Asia, Asia, land, livelihoods, gender, assets, ownership

Suggested Citation

Savath, Vivien and Fletschner, Diana and Peterman, Amber and Santos, Florence, Land, Assets, and Livelihoods: Gendered Analysis of Evidence from Odisha State in India (February 2014). IFPRI Discussion Paper 01323, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2405717 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2405717

Vivien Savath (Contact Author)

Landesa ( email )

1424 Fourth Avenue
Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

Diana Fletschner

Landesa ( email )

1424 Fourth Avenue
Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

Amber Peterman

UNICEF - Innocenti Research Centre ( email )

Piazza SS.Annuziata, 12
Florence, I-50122
Italy

Florence Santos

Landesa ( email )

1424 Fourth Avenue
Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

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