ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Female Headship, Poverty and Child Welfare-A Study of Rural Orissa

A Study of Rural Orissa Pradeep Kumar Panda On the basis of primary data collected in a rural setting in the state of Orissa, an attempt has been made in this paper to compare the socio-economic status of maleand female-headed households, Subsequently the differences in the use of resources (time and money) between male-headed and female-headed households have been analysed. Finally, the paper explores the relative well-being of the children between the two groups, i e, to what extent female headship influences children's access to social services, and children's actual welfare outcomes, measured in terms of health and education indicators. The results suggest that poverty and female headship are strongly linked in rural Orissa. The results further suggest that the use of resources are significantly different between the two types of households and the comparison of household expenditures indicates that, female- headed households spend relatively less on higher quality food items such as meat, vegetables, milk and other dairy products. Finally the findings show that children in female-headed households are disadvantaged both in terms of access to social services and actual welfare outcomes.

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