Livelihood and Poverty: The Case of Poor Women in the Rural Areas of Ca Mau Province, Vietnam


  • Thi Kim Phung Dang Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanity, Ton Duc Thang University



livelihood, poverty, rural development policy, Vietnam, women


Poverty in rural areas remains a major concern for developing countries. In order to improve the lives of poor rural people, it is important to identify the key factors behind their poverty. Over the past two decades, rural development policy and research have focused on livelihood perspectives that help to explain intertwining factors affecting the way rural residents make a living. Yet, critics point out that the livelihood perspective focuses heavily on the livelihoods of households at the micro level and does not recognize the impact of wider socioeconomic contexts in the lives of rural people. The livelihood literature also gives little attention to power relationships, particularly gender issues. This paper seeks to address these knowledge gaps by investigating the livelihoods of poor women in Ca Mau province, a coastal region of Vietnam. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative research methods with questionnaire surveys, in-depth interviews, observations, and focus group discussions. Research findings show that women in the area possess poor livelihood capitals, particularly in human capacity and financial capacity. Moreover, some rural development policies are still not accessible, and they do not provide sufficient inputs for farming. The findings presented here uncover the deep interlinkages between livelihood capitals and the impact of the wider socioeconomic contexts on household livelihood activities and outcomes.

Author Biography

Thi Kim Phung Dang, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanity, Ton Duc Thang University

Thi Kim Phung Dang graduated from Wageningen University in the Netherlands with a PhD in Policy and Management. Governance, discourses, and the relationship between society and environment, as well as society and development, are among her research interests. In 2018, she won a Newton Mobility Grant (British Academy) for the project “Between Dark Heritages and Ecotourism: Post-Colonial Ecologies in Vietnam”. Her current affiliation is with the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


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