The high incidence of poverty in the rural households calls for a concerted effort by all members of the household, including the women. Meanwhile, the discussion on the economic contribution of rural women in many developing countries has largely focused on national and regional levels with little or no concentration on their impact at their immediate household level. Therefore, this study examines the contribution of rural women to household welfare in Kwara State, Nigeria. Data were collected from 160 women in the rural area of the state using structured interview schedule. The data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, index ranking and regression model. Results showed that the mean age of the women was 41.2 years, 61.3% were married, less educated and had an average household size of six persons. Their main source of income was agro-processing (54.4%), though they were pluriactive in nature. The mean income earned by the women was N15,344.65 ($42.62) per month. The major areas of contribution of the women to household expenditure were food (47.73%), clothing (12.13%) and children’s education (9.12%). The results further revealed that the significant factors influencing women’s contribution to households’ welfare in the study area were age, level of education, savings, remittances, training on enterpreneurship and access to credit. Therefore, measures that will increase the income generated by rural women should be put in place so as to boost their contribution to the welfare of their households.

Author Biography

Abraham Falola is a Senior Lecturer of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management of University of Ilorin P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics. His research interests include Production Economics, impact assessment, poverty and issues on livelihoods. E-mail address: falolaabraham@yahoo.com; falola.a@unilorin.edu.ng.

Segun Bamidele Fakayode is an Associate Professor of University of Oye, Nigeria. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics. He specializes in Production and Development Economics.

Ajoke Oluwatoyin Kayode is a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. She holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development. Her research interest is on gender issues in the rural areas.