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Deriving forces and socioeconomic status of women in the urban informal sector in Bichena Town, West-Central Ethiopia

Amene Afework Jenberu () and Getaye Mulugeta Kasse
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Amene Afework Jenberu: Injibara University
Getaye Mulugeta Kasse: Injibara University

Journal of Social and Economic Development, 2021, vol. 23, issue 2, No 3, 258-282

Abstract: Abstract Migration-driven population growth coupled with limited formal job supply in Bichena escalates unemployment and the numbers of informal business operators. The purpose of this study was to investigate the deriving factors and socioeconomic status of women informal business operators in Bichena town, west-central Ethiopia. Mixed research approaches were used to acquire and analyze data. Purposive and convenient sampling techniques were employed to select sample kebeles and 245 respondents, respectively. The study employed questionnaires, interviews, field observations, and document review to collect data. The data were analyzed quantitatively using SPSS and qualitatively. The study revealed lack of options for survival; divorce and/or widow; limited household income; easy entry requirements (education and finance); and flexibility of the business as prominent factors for women's engagement in the informal sector. The study also indicated that women informal workers largely operate small survival-based business with low profits. Consequently, more than half of the respondents obtained very low monthly income (≤ 29.5 USD) with no saving habit, and about one-third of them failed to cover their monthly expenses. The statistical analysis demonstrated that age, family size, type of informal business, and work experiences had a significant influence on respondents' monthly income. The income, expenditure, and saving conditions of respondents vary across the types of informal activities. The study further revealed that women informal workers in Bichena have low livelihood assets ownership except for social capital. The informal sector generally serves as a survival strategy for migrant and urban poor women; thus, the town administration should work hand-in-hand with other stakeholders to empower informal workers through designing appropriate policies/strategies.

Keywords: Bichena; Informal sector; Livelihood assets; Monthly income; Women (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s40847-021-00157-x

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Journal of Social and Economic Development is currently edited by M.G. Chandrakanth, D. Rajasekhar, Anand Inbanathan and S. Madheswaran

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