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Chapter 4: Case studies

Uganda:The modernization of agriculture: are HIV/AIDS-affected households being left behind?

“Despite Uganda’s efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence in the last ten years, and the introduction of anti-retroviral drugs on the market, the disease is greatly affecting the agricultural sector [...] there is a close link between HIV, poverty, poor nutrition and household food and livelihood insecurity, which is directly undermining government’s efforts in realizing the economic empowerment of rural people.”

Dr Kisamba-Mugerwa, Agriculture Minister, Uganda
IP/FAO workshop March 2003


It is becoming increasingly evident that the impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are undermining development initiatives. The data from the IP survey conducted in Uganda provide information on the impacts of the epidemic on the lives of rural people and demonstrate that widening inequalities are preventing resource-poor groups from participating in development initiatives, in particular the Plan for the Modernization of Agriculture (PMA).

Characteristics of the survey sample

610 households were sampled from six sites in the Lake Victoria Crescent agro-ecological zone. Of the total sample, 31 percent of households were considered “affected” by HIV/AIDS. Of all the “affected” households, 64 percent were headed by men and 36 percent by women (Table 2).

Table 2: Sampled households (n = 610)



Mixed agriculture

- Male-headed



- Female-headed




- Male-headed



- Female-headed




- Male-headed



- Female-headed



The sampled sites represented three different rural livelihood systems - mixed agriculture, fisheries and pastoralist. The major crops grown in the mixed agriculture sites included coffee, banana, maize, beans, cassava, sweet potatoes, tea and groundnuts.

Modernization of agriculture

The Government of Uganda has embarked on a broad strategy of poverty reduction, outlined in the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), which aims to reduce absolute poverty to 10 percent by 2017 (GoU, 2000). The PMA is a sector programme under the PEAP, which represents a strategic and operational framework for improving the livelihoods of poor subsistence farmers[6] through market-led strategies (PMA, 2002). More specifically, it aims to:

increase income and improve the quality of life of poor subsistence farmers through increased productivity and an increased share of marketed production;

improve household food security through the market rather than by emphasizing self-sufficiency.

Under the PMA, the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) is mandated to coordinate the provision of decentralized advisory services, both public and private, to subsistence farmers. Local government remains responsible for implementation and delivery of agricultural services, alongside the private sector.

The PMA is not the only strategy to target the small farmer in the agricultural sector. An HIV/AIDS policy for the agricultural sector is being developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries and its agencies (the National Agricultural Research Organization, the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, the Cotton Development Organization and NAADS). Guidelines for mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into all ministry programmes will be developed, as well as training guides on HIV/AIDS for field extension workers (Okuonai, Karamagi and Kyomuhendo, 2003). These initiatives could provide an opportunity for better representation of the needs of small farmers, fisherfolk and pastoralists who are affected by HIV/AIDS.

Different livelihoods, different impacts?

The vulnerability of a production system depends on a combination of factors, but both a wide asset base and opportunities to diversify activities assist in protecting a household against external shocks, such as HIV/AIDS. Results from the IP survey demonstrated that livelihood groups’ different responses to the additional medical and funeral costs associated with HIV/AIDS were determined by their asset base and respective livelihood strategies.

Affected households in mixed-agriculture communities reported that burial costs were met through a combination of assistance from the extended family and income obtained from selling grain and fuelwood, brewing beer or finding employment (Table 3). Occasionally, small livestock and cattle would be sold. Households sell land only as a last resort. There was evidence that affected households were three times as likely to sell land as non-affected ones were. Competing cash needs, limited income and decreased asset wealth prevented households from investing in agricultural production, and among all households affected by HIV/AIDS the following could be observed:

Table 3: Sources of affected households’ expenditure for burial and medical costs in 2002 (percentages)

Mixed agriculture



Household income








Assistance from extended family




Sale of assets












small livestock








In pastoralist communities, 88 percent of HIV/AIDS-affected households sold cattle to cover medical or funeral expenses following the death of a household member. One in five affected households, compared with one in 25 non-affected ones, reported reduced sales of milk compared with five years ago, probably because these households had fewer cattle. With a declining resource base, nearly half of the affected households (47 percent) had at least one member leaving the community in search of paid work or for (early) marriage, compared with 29 percent of non-affected households.

The fisheries communities, with more than 50 percent of households considered “affected” by the epidemic, were harder hit by HIV/AIDS than the other livelihood systems surveyed. Fisherfolk are considered at “high-risk” of contracting HIV as they are young,[7] have mobile lifestyles and irregular settlement patterns and are paid in cash. Proportionally more affected than non-affected fisheries households reported that they had reduced their annual catch between 1997 and 2002. Qualitative information indicated that sick fisherfolk were shifting to less labour-intensive techniques, such as shallow-water fishing instead of sailing to deep waters, where there is more fish. Sick fisherfolk were reducing the time spent night fishing, and were spending less time on maintaining fishing boats, nets and other equipment. Fishing is a highly skilled profession, especially in deep waters, and as more fisherfolk became sick, fisheries communities were losing their knowledge related to the forecast of seasons, the movement of fish shoals and safety in the water. Respondents reported that more accidents had been observed on the lake in the past few years.

Onshore fish processing activities were also changing. Women were choosing to sun dry fish instead of smoking them. Although sun drying demands less labour, sun-dried fish has a lower market value than salted or smoked fish. In the study area, an increasing number of women had inherited boats and fishing equipment. They hired male casual labourers to operate the boats, and younger children for activities such as scaring birds and loading trucks.

The majority of households in fisheries communities earn a living from activities associated with fishing, such as buying and selling fish, catching fish and processing fish. There are few other employment opportunities at landing sites. Crop production is very limited as most households do not own land. With fewer livelihood diversification options, more affected households (14 percent) relied on working as casual labourers for fisherfolk as a source of income, compared with non-affected ones (6 percent). Casual labourers’ income fluctuates during the year according to the fishing season and the number of other labourers available. Access to, and availability of, food depend on a household’s ability to purchase it, so times of income insecurity are also times of food insecurity.

Reduction in area owned and cultivated

In mixed agriculture communities, male-headed households had approximately 1.5 times more land than female-headed ones. Affected female-headed households had the smallest landholding and cultivated the smallest area per capita (Figure 2).

With their increasing numbers of dependants and growing domestic and agricultural workloads, households affected by HIV/AIDS cultivated less land. This was particularly evident in affected female-headed households, which cultivated a total of only 1.3 acres, compared with affected male-headed households cultivating a total of 2.5 acres.

A majority of affected households reported that they had decreased the average area cultivated in the past five years owing to labour constraints. On average, affected male-headed households had reduced the cultivated area by 11 percent (0.3 acre), while affected female-headed households had reduced it by 26 percent (0.5 acre). Over the past five years, affected female-headed households reported an average reduction in landholding of 11 percent (0.3 acre), which was owing to distress sale and the loss of land to relatives following the death of a spouse.

Figure 2: Average landholding and area cultivated per household member, by different household types in 2002

Changing cropping patterns

A general trend emerging from the IP survey was that mixed agriculture households affected by HIV/AIDS were reducing the land under cultivation and leaving more land fallow, resulting in reduced output. Yields were further affected by the inability to purchase agricultural inputs and by the proportionally less time available for preparing and tending fields.

Data from the survey demonstrated that affected households had reduced the area under cultivation for all crops, whereas non-affected households were able to increase the cultivation of maize and groundnut (Figure 3). The government has actively encouraged farmers to grow maize, as there is a market for this crop. It is clear that households affected by HIV/AIDS were less able to plant maize and respond to this initiative than non-affected ones were.

Figure 3: Percentage change in areas cultivated between 1997 and 2002, by crops and household categories


Households affected by HIV/AIDS, in particular those headed by women, are finding it increasingly difficult to meet their food security needs. In mixed agriculture communities, many small farmers rely on humans as their principal source of farm-power, and labour shortages are a fundamental constraint towards increasing agricultural production. AIDS-affected households have fewer resources and find it difficult to buy additional inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticide, which further reduces agricultural productivity. For the majority of these farmers, low inputs result in low outputs.

This case study illustrates that households affected by HIV/AIDS in pastoralist and fisheries communities are selling assets to cover increasing expenditure. With fewer cattle and less fishing equipment, these households were also finding it difficult to increase or even to maintain their production.

The PMA and NAADS both recognize that the HIV/AIDS epidemic can undermine agricultural and economic productivity (PMA, 2002; NAADS, 2001). The PMA identifies a number of vulnerable groups to be targeted, such as widows and female-headed households, which include HIV/AIDS-affected households.[8] However, specific strategies to mitigate the impacts of HIV/AIDS on poor, rural farmers are absent. This case study provides evidence that AIDS-affected households in mixed agriculture, fisheries and pastoralist communities are becoming increasingly resource-poor and are producing less; consequently, these households will find it difficult to shift towards the modernization goals of the PMA. Specific strategies need to be developed to enable this group to move beyond subsistence production. Activities need to be implemented that underwrite the risk to poor farmers who invest in increased productivity or that enable them to diversify their activities away from the agricultural sector in order to increase their purchasing power to buy food.

Women selling homemade honey at NAADS’ stand at the Iganga Agricultural Tradee Show in July 2003

Namibia: Protecting the assets of vulnerable households


In many countries, households sell livestock and grain to cover HIV/AIDS-related medical expenses and funerals, leaving fewer resources to support the livelihoods of its members. Moreover, following the death of a male spouse, a widow may lose access to property, which results in further impoverishment.

This case study looks briefly at global property and inheritance rights and reflects on Namibian policies relevant to the protection of assets. The survey findings illustrate how the HIV/AIDS epidemic slowly depletes households’ asset base owing to increasing distress sales. They also highlight how the dispossession of assets following the death of a spouse increases the vulnerability of widow-headed households.

Property and inheritance rights

In many parts of the world, widows and daughters receive a smaller share of their deceased spouse’s or parent’s property than do widowers and sons. In May 2003, the Human Rights Commission adopted a resolution on women’s equal ownership of, access to and control over land and on their equal rights to own property and adequate housing (CHR, 2003). The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights also requires that all rights be implemented in a non-discriminatory way (OAU, 1981: Article 14). Equality in inheritance rights is not stated explicitly in any international treaties, but the 42nd Commission on the Advancement of Women adopted resolution 42/1, which urges countries to design and revise laws to ensure that women are accorded full and equal rights to own land and other property, including the right to inheritance (CSW, 1998). Often, inheritance rights for widows do not reflect the principles of equal ownership of property acquired during marriage, and such provisions contravene the convention (HRW, 2003).

In Namibia, the Married Persons Equality Act of 1996 states that, on the death of a spouse, both men and women are entitled to assets accumulated through marriage. The act provides for equality between spouses in financial transactions, marital property and the guardianship of children. In 1997, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) reviewed this act and noted that women in Namibia continue to face persistent discrimination arising from customary laws. A general lack of knowledge of human and legal rights was an obstacle to implementation (CEDAW, 1997).

Characteristics of the survey sample

513 households were sampled from three rural districts in the Ohangwena Region in Northern Namibia (Table 4). Of the total sample, 38 percent of households were considered affected. 69 percent of affected households where headed by women and 31 percent by men.

Table 4: Sampled households (n = 513)

Male- headed

Female- headed







Ohangwena is one of the poorest regions in Namibia (ORMT, 2002), and its HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is above the Namibian average (NACOP/MOHSS, 2002). In Ohangwena, the proportion of female-headed households is also higher than the national average.[9] The majority of the population are subsistence farmers with mixed agriculture systems. Agricultural production in Namibia is characterized by low output owing to poor soil, erratic rainfall and drought.

Property depletion

In Northern Namibia, cattle are a sign of status and represent stores of wealth. The ceremonial value of cattle is also important as they are slaughtered at weddings and funerals (FAO, 2000). Although smaller livestock such as goats, pigs and chickens have less commercial and social value, they are easier to buy, sell and slaughter, and represent smaller investments. Hence they are also an important asset.

There was little difference in the incidence of livestock ownership between affected and non-affected households, but the gender differences are more apparent. In the IP survey area, more male-headed households owned cattle (52 percent non-affected, 60 percent affected) than female-headed ones (25 percent non-affected, 32 percent affected), but female-headed households owned more chickens (Table 5).

Figure 4: Average number of livestock owned by household type in 2002

* Relationship between household type and number of cattle and goats is significant at p <.05

Table 5: Livestock ownership by household type in 2002 (percentages)



























Of those households that owned livestock, male-headed households owned significantly more livestock than female-headed ones, and therefore had greater “stores of wealth”. Affected female-headed households owned less livestock than all other household categories (Figure 4).

More than 50 percent of those owning livestock reported a reduction in the numbers held between 1997 and 2002 (Figure 5). It is interesting to note that non-affected female-headed households lost proportionally more cattle than all other household types. However, these households currently owned more cattle than affected female-headed households. Only non-affected male-headed households increased the number of livestock owned in the past five years (+2 cattle).

Figure 5: Average change in livestock ownership from 1997 to 2002 by household type

* Relationship between household type and number of cattle is significant at p <.05

The loss of livestock over the past five years can be explained by a combination of factors. First, drought is a chronic phenomenon in northern Namibia, and all households reported the death, sale or consumption of livestock. The 2001 drought was particularly acute. The IP survey found that non-affected male-headed households were the only household type able to absorb the additional impacts of the drought. In contrast, households affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic were experiencing increasingly difficult conditions during this five-year period, with the loss of productive household labour and increasing costs resulting in the distress sale of livestock, particularly cattle, to cover expenses.

Property repossession

An additional reason for large losses of cattle from female-headed households could be the repossession of family assets following the death of a spouse. Although quantitative data on this were difficult to obtain, the IP survey included a number of in-depth interviews with widows, widowers and traditional leaders. During discussions it emerged that in Ohangwena Region there is a conceptual difference between the property that was given by both families to formalize marriage (“inherited property”) and property that the couple accumulated during their married life (“common property”). The latter is often sold during times of hardship, for example to pay for hospital fees and funeral expenses. “Inherited property” acquired before marriage is only sold as a last resort. Inheritance disputes are often about who “owns” property that came via a spouse. In practice, all movable items such as cattle, kitchen and farm equipment are taken by relatives, regardless of whether they are considered inherited or common property. The IP team did not come across any cases of land being taken.[10]

This residence belongs to a 48 years old widow. Shortly after her husband had passed away, she experienced that his family “grabbed” everything from livestock to equipment in her kitchen. She had to take up a loan to pay for the funeral costs, since she had no assets left and no available savings. Fortunately she is still working as a teacher and can provide for the six younger members of the household.

Concrete evidence of “property grabbing” was difficult to obtain, as systems of customary law are complex and context-specific, and this is a highly sensitive subject to discuss. It became clear that there is not a common interpretation of how marital property should be inherited, and decisions tend to be made by village headmen on a case-by-case basis. Few people knew of a legal assistance centre operating in a neighbouring district or of services provided specifically to address these types of issues. There was a fatalistic attitude towards property dispossession, and a number of respondents attributed the increase in the incidence of asset stripping to increasing poverty.

Households headed by widows or youth

Of the sample surveyed, 32 households had lost husbands in the past five years to HIV/AIDS-related illness, and 18 households were headed by youth who had lost both parents. Following the death of a male spouse, 44 percent of widows lost cattle, 28 percent small livestock and 41 percent lost farm equipment to their husband’s family. The heaviest asset loss was borne by youth-headed households (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Average change in livestock ownership from 1997 to 2002 for widow- and youth-headed households

Case study: 51-year-old widow living with ten children

Lavinia’s husband died in May 2002. After her husband died, his sister came with her children and took most of the property, including goats, cattle, oxen, a donkey and a plough. At the time, Lavinia did not complain; she felt helpless. Her house was not taken, but the headman is asking her to pay the equivalent of US$80 to keep the house. Fortunately, Lavinia’s sister-in-law did not take her hand hoe, so she is still able to work on the farm. Lavinia’s biggest problem is finding the money to pay for annual school fees, which amount to approximately US$50 per child. Lavinia has little support from her extended family as her brothers died in exile. She has one male cousin who has few resources to help her, but he is also experiencing problems in paying school fess for his own children.


This case study illustrated the heightened inability of HIV/AIDS-affected households to cope with the shocks to which all rural households are subjected. Nearly all households in the study currently own less small livestock than they did five years ago. Their small livestock died or were sold or consumed. Large livestock such as cattle represent large stores of wealth, and are only sold or slaughtered as a last resort in times of need. However, the survey data show that households affected by HIV/AIDS sold more cattle in the past five years than not-affected households did, presumably to cover expenses associated with HIV/AIDS. It is interesting to note that female-headed households that were not affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic also lost cattle; a proportion of this “loss” could be attributed to the repossession of property following a husband’s death by other causes. Widows whose husband had died from AIDS-related causes had livestock taken by relatives, needed to sell and slaughter livestock to cover increasing expenses and were left with few resources.

Legislation against “property grabbing” exists in Namibia, but there is a general lack of awareness of the Married Persons Equality Act. Furthermore, the government has few resources and little capacity to implement the act. Consequently, local customs and inheritance practices are widespread, leaving female-headed households with very little on which to build a livelihood.

Zambia: HIV/AIDS, gender and orphans

“HIV/AIDS is devastating Zambian society. Tens of thousands of people have already died and many, many more are infected [...] one of the tragic consequences is a very rapid rise in the numbers of orphans, as well as households headed by children and elderly grandparents”.

James Morris, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Humanitarian Crisis in Southern Africa
Special Envoy’s mission to Zambia (WFP, 13/09/2002)


In Zambia, more than 70 percent of the population fall below the poverty line; 90 percent of these people are women (MoH, 2002). According to the 1998 Living Conditions Survey, more female-headed than male-headed households face extreme poverty. Women and youth in Zambia represent 70 percent of the agricultural labour force, but have access to few productive assets and are marginalized in decision-making processes at the household and community levels. These gender and age differentials become more acute when productive resources are scarce, thus making female-headed and - increasingly - youth-headed households the most vulnerable of the poor (FAO/SDW, 2003).

In Zambia, the national HIV prevalence among women of 15-24 years ranges from 17 to 25 percent, whereas the range for men in the same age cohort is 6 to 10 percent (UoC, 2003). The HIV/AIDS pandemic had orphaned 600 000 children by 2000, and this number is projected to reach 974 000 by 2014 (TNDP, 2002). Most orphans are being fostered by the extended family, but approximately 6 percent end up living on the streets and less than 1 percent in orphanages. Within the extended family, grandparents with few sources of income are left to care for young orphans. Using IP survey data, this case study examined households caring for AIDS orphans, particularly female- and grandmother-headed households, and the imbalance in ownership of, and access to, productive resources. It looks briefly at whether the Zambian National Gender Policy reflects and adequately addresses the needs of these emerging household types.

Characteristics of the survey sample

766 households were sampled from Choma, Monze and Sinazongwe districts in Southern Province, Zambia. Data analysis was disaggregated by gender and according to whether or not a household was “caring for AIDS orphans”, i.e. children up to 18 years old who have lost one or both parents through death (Table 6). Out of the total randomly selected sample, 31 percent were caring for orphans.

Table 6: Sampled households (n = 766)

Male- headed

Female- headed

With orphans



Without orphans



The Southern Province is one of the most important in terms of agricultural production. Along with Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces, it is one of the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. The most recent population-based estimate puts HIV/AIDS prevalence for Southern province at 17.6 percent (ZDHS, 2002).

Feminization of rural poverty in Zambia

83 percent of the people in rural areas are poor, compared with 56 percent in urban areas.

77 percent of all people in female-headed households are poor, compared with 72 percent in male-headed households.

Female-headed households are more likely to be extremely poor than male-headed ones are.

61 percent of female-headed households face food shortages, compared with 52 percent of male-headed ones.

Female-headed households report longer episodes of food shortage.

54 percent of children in female-headed households are stunted, compared with 49 percent in male-headed ones.

Central Statistics Office. Living Conditions Survey (1998)

The national gender policy framework

Zambia has a good institutional and legal framework for gender equality. The Gender and Development Division is located in the Cabinet Office, and is responsible for coordinating implementation of the National Gender Policy through an institutional structure of gender focal points within sector ministries, as well as Development Coordinating Committees that facilitate the implementation of the policy at the district and provincial levels (GoZ, 2002).

The National Gender Policy (2000) streamlines gender into development activities and specifically:

Despite the framework, Zambia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy states that there is an absence of in-depth gender analysis in the policy, and adequate human, physical and financial resources have yet to be committed. Measures to alleviate poverty have not fully addressed the differential impacts of poverty on men and women, nor have they tried to target gender-specific constraints. Gender-disaggregated data tend not to be used in the assessments of programmes, and the 2002 national budget did not disaggregate resource allocations or incentives by gender (GoZ, 2002).

HIV/AIDS and emerging households

The AIDS pandemic has left many orphans, most of whom are absorbed into the extended family. In the IP survey, about one-third (31 percent) of all households were caring for orphans; 45 percent of these households were fostering the orphaned children of relatives (Table 7).

Table 7: Orphan caring patterns for male- and female-headed households (n = 237)



Wife deceased, caring for own orphaned children


Wife deceased, caring for own orphaned children AND fostering orphans from relatives (i.e. “double orphan burden”)


Wife still living, fostering orphans from relatives OR grandparents fostering orphans from relatives (e.g. orphaned grandchildren)



Husband deceased, caring for own orphaned children


Husband deceased, caring for own orphaned children AND fostering orphans from relatives (i.e. “double orphan burden”)


Grandmother fostering orphans (e.g. orphaned grandchildren)


In Zambian society in general, it is most usual for orphans to be cared for by grandmothers. In the absence of grandparents, orphans are fostered by an elder relative of the extended family, usually a better-off male-headed household (FAO/DCI, 2003). In the IP sample, 26 of the 105 households fostering orphans from relatives were headed by grandmothers. This trend is confirmed by the significantly higher average age of the household head in female-headed households with orphans (49 years) than in male-headed households with orphans (41 years). Female-headed households not only tend to take care of more children, but they also take in younger orphans than male-headed households (Table 8). Consequently, female-headed households with orphans have fewer economically active household members (reflected by a higher dependency ratio), and thus experience greater labour shortages compared with male-headed households caring for orphans.

Table 8: Selected characteristics of male- and female-headed households caring for orphans

Male- headed


Average age of household head (years)*



Average number of extra children to support (fostered orphans)



Average age of fostered orphans (years)*



Proportion of economically active (15-64 years) household members (%)



Dependency ratio**



* Significant at p <.05
** Dependants (15 < and > 65+)/producers (15-64)*100

Gender inequality: caring for orphans

Households headed by widows and grandmothers are caring for greater numbers of AIDS orphans and are characterized by the ownership of few productive assets. Throughout the sample, female-headed households, particularly those caring for orphans, had less access to land for agricultural production than male-headed households did. Moreover, female-headed households with orphans cultivated smaller proportions of land than their male counterparts, primarily owing to a shortage of household labour (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Average landholding and cultivated area by household type in 2002

In rural communities in general, and in the Southern Province in particular, livestock represent reserves of asset wealth. This physical wealth can be sold or exchanged in times of need. Female-headed households have fewer livestock and small ruminants than their male-headed counterparts (Figure 8). Consequently, they have fewer financial resources with which to buy agricultural inputs, pay school fees, purchase household consumables and so on. During the five-year period preceding the survey, 41 percent of female-headed households with orphans lost all their cattle and 47 percent lost all their pigs. The loss of cattle and pigs was attributed to distress sales and property dispossession following the death of a spouse.

Figure 8: Average livestock ownership by household type in 2002

Female-headed households also owned less farm equipment, such as ploughs and carts, which further reduced efficiency (Figure 9). The main reason reported for reduced ownership of farm equipment was sale to cover medical bills, school fees and food purchases (63 percent).

Figure 9: Proportion of different household types owning farm equipment in 2002 (percentage)

In addition to differential ownership of and access to productive assets, female-headed households, particularly grandmother-headed ones looking after orphans, have few income sources to support their household members. Despite the National Gender Policy promoting women’s participation in employment and income-generating activities, female-headed households participate little in the economic sector (Figure 10). Consequently, children in these households leave school, as the opportunity costs of sending children to school increase and households do not have enough financial resources to cover school expenses. Female-headed households with orphans are more than twice as likely to withdraw children of 7 to 13 years from school than the other household types are.

Figure 10: Proportion of household members working in large farms, industries and mines, by household type in 2002 (percentage)


The AIDS-related death of people in productive age groups has led to an increase in households fostering orphans, which places an additional burden on these households. It is clear from the IP survey data that female-headed households are caring for increasing numbers of orphans with fewer resources. Poor female-, and increasingly grandmother-headed, households that care for orphans have very few coping capacities to re-establish self-sustaining livelihoods. The responses adopted, such as the sale of productive assets and the removal of children from school, increase household poverty in the long term, and thus exacerbate the “feminization” of poverty in Zambia.

Current measures to alleviate poverty do not adequately address the differential impact of poverty on men and women, as stated in the Poverty Reduction Strategy of Zambia. They also make insufficient provisions for the AIDS-poor households that are emerging as a result of the epidemic. Given the high projections for numbers of AIDS orphans in the near future, there is a critical need for increased commitment to gender equality and for the linking of current gender and HIV/AIDS policies in Zambia.

[6] Primary target beneficiaries for the PMA are small subsistence farmers (70 percent), followed by semi-commercial (25 percent) and commercial farmers (5 percent).
[7] IP data show that household heads’ average age in the fisheries communities was lower than in the other livelihood systems.
[8] PMA defines the most vulnerable groups as: i) women; ii) widows and female-headed households; iii) male youth; iv) households with large families; and v) people who are dependent on a relatively vulnerable source of income, such as fisherfolk, nomads and small-scale farmers who rely on growing only one low-value crop for sale.
[9] The gender ratio (number of males per 100 females) in Ohangwena is 83.5; nationally it is 95.0 (RoN, 2002).
[10] Studies on women’s land rights in Southern and Eastern Africa indicate that in some countries land is re-possessed following the death of a male spouse (FAO/OXFAM, 2003).

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