459.3 Changes in livelihood capital assets in female-headed households: A post-conflict situation in Nepal

Friday, August 3, 2012: 9:44 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Chiranjibi RIJAL , Freelancer, Kathmandu, Nepal
Hom Nath GARTAULA , Department of Social Science, Wageningen University , Netherlands
In Nepal, conflict has affected different social groups at different levels and scales. Taking an example from Bardiya district, western Nepal, the paper aims to assess economic activities and safety-nets of conflict affected female-headed households using capital assets in the sustainable livelihood framework. The study area was highly affected by the decade-long ‘people’s war’ between the government and Maoists that resulted into the formation of many female-headed households especially in the rural part of the country. Open ended interviews with 30 conflict-affected female-headed households were conducted, in addition to an extensive visit of the study area, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions. The study confirms that in conflict and post-conflict situations to female-headed households, livelihood options and opportunities are limited. However, due to proliferation of development initiatives targeting conflict affected families, their social capital has increased to a great extent and economic capital to lesser extent. Realizing the limitation of the pentagon of capital assets within sustainable livelihood framework in conflicts and disaster situations, the paper recommends political capital and psychosocial trauma as additional capitals and a heptagon of capital assets, for household level livelihoods in conflict and disaster situations.