Investigation of Socioeconomic Status of Rural Women and Effective Factors on its Improvement (Case Study: Hamedan County)



Over the past decade, the issue of rural women in developing countries has evolved from relative obscurity to a primary concern among the growing community of researchers and policy makers who are interested in women's socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status (SES) is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual's or family’s economic and social position relative to others, based on income, education, and occupation. A fourth variable, wealth, may also be examined when determining socioeconomic status. Socio-economic status indices are increasingly being used to characterize (in)equity, with the assumption that SES indices are reliable. Income refers to wages, salaries, profits, rents, and any flow of earnings received. Income can also come in the form of unemployment or workers compensation, social security, pensions, interests or dividends, royalties, trusts, alimony, or other governmental, public, or family financial assistance. Educational attainment is preferable to analyze for SES because it can be figured for all individuals. A person’s educational attainment is considered to be the highest level (grade or degree) of education they have completed. Occupational prestige as one component of SES, encompasses both income and educational attainment. Occupational status reflects the educational attainment required to obtain the job and income levels that vary with different jobs and within ranks of occupations. Additionally, it shows achievement in skills required for the job. Wealth, a set of economic reserves or assets, presents a source of security providing a measure of a household's ability to meet emergencies, absorb economic shocks, or provide the means to live comfortably. Socioeconomic status is typically broken into three categories, high SES, middle SES, and low SES to describe the three areas a family or an individual may fall into. When placing a family or individual into one of these categories any or all of the three variables (income, education, and occupation) can be assessed. Individuals with low socioeconomic status often lack the financial, social, and educational supports. Poor families also may have inadequate or limited access to community resources that promote and support children's development and school readiness. In respect to developing countries, rural women play a vital role in agriculture, daily reproductive tasks and income generating activities etc. However, it is the reality that less value is given to their contributions, and rural women are less likely to realize their status to make a life better for themselves, families and communities. Rural women with low SES may have inadequate skills for activities as reading to and with their children, and they may lack information about family health and nutrition. In these conditions, rural women remain inactive with less chance to development of their abilities. Improving rural women life will be occur by recognization socioeconomic status, ways of poverty eradication, accessibility of education and reinforcement of economic skills. Despite the growing interest in this issue, most studies of this issue have been limited in rural area of Iran. There is a need to identify the current status of women in rural area. Thus this study assesses rural women’s socioeconomic status (SES) in Hamedan County. In the next step, using quality Logit function, are recognized effective factors on improvement of SES and precise amounts of effect of variables. Data were collected from 256 rural women. The sampling method was stratified and used in the next step random sampling. The results show that 36.3% women’s in low SES, 55.9% of them in middle and only 7.8% of rural women have high SES. More specifically, the paper briefly outlines some of the major characteristics of women’s traditional nonagricultural employment within rural areas. It then moves on to a discussion of different sociopsycology interpretations of women’s involvement in socioeconomic status, for example stressing the importance of domestic violence analyses within an understanding of the interconnectedness of socioeconomic and psychology. In regards to estimation of Logit model showed that there are significant positive relation between improvement probability of SES with the level of husband education, self-confidence, amount of saving, economic skills, self-reliance, equality gender attribute, economic participation and mobility. Estimation of elasticity showed that economic participation has most positive effect. If this index increases one percent, the probability of SES increases 0.488 percent. Also according to marginal effect, by increasing this index by one unit, probability of improvement probability of SES increases by 0.096 units. Household violence has negative and significant relation with improvement probability of SES. According to the results, supporting indexes by positive effects on SES, especially in economic participation index and decreasing household violence for improvement of SES is necessary.