Original Research

Resilient rural women’s livelihoods for poverty alleviation and economic empowerment in semi-arid regions of Zimbabwe

Hilda Jaka, Elvin Shava
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 10, No 1 | a524 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v10i1.524 | © 2018 Hilda Jaka, Elvin Shava | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2017 | Published: 12 September 2018

About the author(s)

Hilda Jaka, Department of Public Management and Development, North-West University, South Africa
Elvin Shava, Department of Public Management and Development, North-West University, South Africa


The purpose of this article was to examine the implementation of rural women’s livelihoods towards economic empowerment of women in Chivi District of Zimbabwe. A drought-ridden and semi-arid district because of climate change, Chivi District receives very low annual rainfall which impacts negatively on agriculture as the main rural women’s livelihood among others such as craftwork, pottery, gardening and poultry projects. Using a case study approach that triangulates interviews, focus groups and documents, the article found out that women faced numerous challenges. The findings of the study revealed that in their quest to reduce poverty and economically empower themselves, women encountered the lack of access to competitive markets, micro-insure rural women’s livelihoods, lack of access to credit facilities, lack of entrepreneurial education and training, effects of climate change, limited use of technology to stimulate rural women’s livelihoods. The article concludes that to achieve economic empowerment through resilient rural women’s livelihoods, access to competitive markets and entrepreneurial education supported by adequate funding is fundamental.


rural women livelihoods; economic empowerment; poverty alleviation; semi-arid regions; income generation


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1. Caracterización multidimensional de la mujer emprendedora
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doi: 10.18359/rfce.4012