Intra-household differences in coping with illness in rural Ethiopia

TitleIntra-household differences in coping with illness in rural Ethiopia
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsM. Dekker
EditorM.M.E.M. Rutten, A.H.M. Leliveld, and D.W.J. Foeken
Secondary TitleInside Poverty and Development in Africa
Series titleAfrican Dynamics
Pagination201 - 224
Date Published2008///
Place PublishedLeiden
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number978 90 04 15840 5
KeywordsAfrica, Ethiopia, intra-household, marriage, Rural, social networks

Recent empirical evidence from Africa suggests that households may not offer all members full protection against shocks. Yet what mechanism drives such an outcome still remains unclear. This chapter explores the role of support networks in coping with health shocks in rural Ethiopia and makes a distinction between the financial and labour needs. Data on 357 households and 670 individuals show financial needs can be met through a range of strategies undertaken by individuals and/or household members, while labour needs are often not cushioned within the hosuehold and can only be met through support networks of female relatives. In the absence of such networks, women are frequently not able to cope. These findings suggest that the assumption of full insurance within households may cover the financial consequences of health shocks, but not the labour needs during periods of illness.

Citation Key696