Policy Reform toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia: Little by Little the Egg Begins to Walk

    1. Study Information

       

      This section discusses the 2015 article by Neha Kumar and Agnes Quisumbing, “Policy Reform toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia: Little by Little the Egg Begins to Walk”.1

      The Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) is a longitudinal panel data set using data from 7 rounds of data collection. This paper uses data from 1997, 2004 and 2009. The ERHS sample consists of 1300 households in 15 villages across Ethiopia, with a particular focus on different agro-climates and agricultural systems.

      The paper looks at how two reforms—the changes in the Family Code implemented in 2000 and community-based land registration, undertaken since 2003—may have created conditions for gender-sensitive reforms to reinforce each other. It examines how household characteristics are correlated with changes in women’s perceptions regarding allocation of assets upon divorce, and knowledge of and participation in the land registration process.

      This entry focuses on the findings from the land registration process.

    2. Questions posed
      • Do male and female headed households differ in their awareness of and participation in the land registration process?
      • Do male and female headed households differ in terms of land owned and cultivated?
      • Does female membership on the Land Administration Committees (LAC), which oversee the land certification process, have an impact on women’s participation?
    3. Description of intervention

      Community based land certification and registration.

    4. Context of findings

      Study looked at Female Headed Households (FHH) and Male Headed Households (MHH) but not women within MHH. About 1/3 (32%) of sampled household heads are FHH.

      Female heads of household on average have no education while male heads of household have at least two years of schooling. In addition, female heads of household on average have fewer assets and less land.

    5. Key findings

      Male-headed households were more informed about initial public information meetings, more likely to have attended more meetings, and more likely to have received written information about the process of registration. Variations across regions regarding the gender gap in awareness with FHH in Oromia equally likely to be informed about the meetings as their male counterparts.

      Female heads of household who believed they had some ability to affect or change their circumstances were more likely to attend the meetings than those who felt powerless.

      Education and plot size had a differential effect on MHH’s and FHH’s awareness of the land registration process. While education did not improve men’s knowledge of the land registration process, it had a positive effect on women’s awareness of the process. FHH with smaller plots were more likely to have heard of the land registration process.

      There was a link between women’s awareness of and attendance at land registration meetings, and their memberships in Iddirs (women’s traditional social network). As well, representation of women in the LAC had a positive effect on the participation of female heads of households without having an adverse effect on the participation of MHH.

    6. Unanswered questions
      • Were women in MHH aware of and participate in the land registration process?
      • What types of characteristics affected FHH and women within MHH differently?
    NOTES
    1. Kumar, N. and Quisumbing, A. (2015). “Policy Reform toward Gender Equality in Ethiopia: Little by Little the Egg Begins to Walk.” World Development 67, 406-23.