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Multidimensional Measurement of Poverty among Women in Sub-Saharan Africa
Authors: Yélé Maweki Batana
Source: Social Indicators Research, 112(2): 337-362; DOI: 10.1007/s11205-013-0251-9
Topic(s): Education
Poverty
Women's status
Country: Africa
   Multiple African Countries
Published: JUN 2013
Abstract: Since the seminal work of Sen, poverty has been recognized as a multidimensional phenomenon. The recent availability of relevant databases renewed the interest in this approach. This paper estimates multidimensional poverty among women in fourteen Sub-Saharan African countries using the Alkire and Foster multidimensional poverty measures, whose identification method is based on a counting approach. Four dimensions are considered: assets, health, schooling and empowerment. The results show important differences in poverty among the countries of the sample. The multidimensional poverty estimates are compared with some alternative measures such as the Human Development Index, income poverty, asset poverty and the Gender-related Development Index. It is found that including additional dimensions into the analysis leads to country rankings different from those obtained with the mentioned four measures. Decompositions by geographical area and dimension indicate that rural areas are significantly poorer than urban ones and that a lack of schooling is, in general, the highest contributor to poverty. The paper also conducts robustness and sensitivity analyses of the multidimensional estimates with respect to the number of dimensions in which deprivation is required in order to be considered poor, as well as to the poverty lines within each dimension. Several cases of dominance between countries are found in the first robustness test.