I have studied the different resource situations of female and male headed households and how these affect their behaviour and welfare since my early work in Zambia in the 1980s. The gender division of labour within households was also an important factor that I had to take into account as e.g. in northern Zambia females were not allowed to climb trees to cut branches for their swidden fields. Similarly, in Ethiopia women are not supposed to plough with oxen and therefore female-headed households without access to male labour may be forced to rent out their land as they are unable to cultivate it themselves. My later work includes work on
a) how insecure porperty rights for female household heads affect their land rental activity and ability to enforce contracts and enhance the productivity on their sharecropped out and owner-operated land in Ethiopia.
b) how providing joint land certificates to husbands and wives affect the position of women within housholds, including polygamous households in southern Ethiopia where women traditionally have a weak position (as property of their husbands and families rather than as equal owners of natural resource endowments).
I am project leader for a new research project (2012-2014) with the title "Joint Certification and Household Land Allocation: - Towards Empowerment or Marginalization?" that is financed by the Research Council of Norway. Sosina Bezu is employed as a researcher on the project. You find the blog for the project here.
Uma Lele’s Award to Best Contributed Paper on Gender
The paper "The Role of Land Certification in Reducing Gender Gaps in Productivity in Rural Ethiopia" written by Mintewab Bezabih, Stein T. Holden and Andrea Mannberg, was given the "Uma Lele’s Award to Best Contributed Paper on Gender" at the International Conference of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), "The Global Bio-Economy" at Iguassu Falls, Cataratas, Brazil, August 18-24, 2012.
Some recent publications:
Sosina Bezu and Stein Holden. Generosity and social distance in dictator game field experiments with and without a face. CLTS Working Paper No. 1/2013. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. Powerpoint
Mintewab Bezabih, Stein T. Holden and Andrea Mannberg. The Role of Land Certification in Reducing Gender Gaps in Productivity in Rural Ethiopia. CLTS Working Paper No. 1/2012. Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway.
Holden, S. T., Deininger, K. and Ghebru, H. (2011). Tenure Insecurity, Gender, Low-cost Land Certification and Land Rental Market Participation. Journal of Development Studies 47(1), 31-47. Link. Earlier version
Holden, S. T. and Bezabih, M. (2008). Gender and Land Productivity on Rented Out Land: Evidence from Ethiopia. In Holden, S. T., Otsuka, K. and Place, F. (Eds.). The Emergence of Land Markets in Africa: Impacts on Poverty and Efficiency. Resources For the Future Press, Washington D.C. See: Link
Holden, S. T. and Tefera, T. (2008). From Being the Property of Men to Becoming Equal Owners? Early Impacts of Land Registration and Certification on Women in Southern Ethiopia. Final Research Report submitted to UN-HABITAT, Shelter Branch, Land Tenure and Property Administration Section. Nairobi. See: Link
Holden, S. T. and Tefera, T. (2008). Early Impacts of Land Registration and Certification on Women in Southern Ethiopia. Summary Report, UN-HABITAT, Shelter Branch, Land Tenure and Property Administration Section. Nairobi. See: Link
Holden, S. T., Kaarhus, R. and Lunduka, R. (2006). Land Policy Reform: The Role of Land Markets and Women's Land Rights in Malawi. Noragric Report No. 36, Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), Ås. See: Link