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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Drought, Domestic Budgeting and Wealth Distribution in Sahelian Households
Author:Turner, Matthew D.
Periodical:Development and Change
Geographic term:Niger
Subjects:household budget
income distribution
rural households
Economics and Trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Labor and Employment
Drought and Desertification
External link:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00187
Abstract:This study is concerned with how environmental change has worked to increase the importance of budgetary struggles over the use of individual wealth to meet household subsistence needs in Sahelian West Africa, with important effects on intra-household distributions of wealth. Over the past 25 years, the West African Sahel has suffered from recurrent drought and harvest failures. There has been a reorientation of household income away from household-produced grains toward the liquidation of individual wealth stores to purchase grain. Using case material from two Djerma villages in the Zarmaganda region of western Niger, the author shows that this reorientation has increased the stakes and shifted the leverage held by different household members in struggles over individual obligations to support the household. The effects of these budgetary struggles on intra-household distributions of wealth are traced by analysing livestock wealth held by individuals in 54 households in 1984-1994. The author shows that the invocation of Islamic law by women and subordinate men to protect their wealth from household claims has resulted in their livestock wealth increasing relative to that of male heads of household. Bibliogr., notes, sum.