Women's Empowerment in Agriculture, Production Diversity, and Nutrition: Evidence from Nepal

44 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2014

See all articles by Hazel Jean Malapit

Hazel Jean Malapit

University of the Philippines

Suneetha Kadiyala

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Agnes R. Quisumbing

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Kenda Cunningham

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Parul Tyagi

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: December 2013

Abstract

With the increasing recognition that agricultural growth and development do not necessarily translate into improved nutrition outcomes, policymakers are increasingly grappling with how to design and implement agricultural policies and programs that can also achieve nutritional objectives. Agriculture has direct links to nutrition in that it provides a source of food and nutrients and a broad-based source of income, as well as directly influencing food prices. Gender roles mediate these linkages, particularly in relation to increased food availability and increased income. Thus, one possible pathway through which agricultural development could improve health and nutrition outcomes is by considering gender roles and gender equity in agriculture. Using household survey data from Nepal, we investigate the impact of women’s empowerment in agriculture and production diversity on dietary diversity and anthropometric outcomes of mothers and children. Production diversity is positively associated with mothers’ dietary diversity and body mass index. Production diversity is positively associated with dietary diversity for children under two and predicts weight-for-age (WAZ), weight-for-height (WHZ), and height-for-age (HAZ) z-scores of children over two years of age. Indicators of empowerment are significantly associated with maternal outcomes but have a variable effect on child outcomes. Women’s autonomy in production and hours worked improve maternal and children’s dietary diversity and child HAZ.

Keywords: Nepal, South Asia, Asia, gender, women, empowerment, agriculture, nutrition, women's empowerment

Suggested Citation

Malapit, Hazel Jean and Kadiyala, Suneetha and Quisumbing, Agnes R. and Cunningham, Kenda and Tyagi, Parul, Women's Empowerment in Agriculture, Production Diversity, and Nutrition: Evidence from Nepal (December 2013). IFPRI Discussion Paper 01313. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2405710 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2405710

Hazel Jean Malapit (Contact Author)

University of the Philippines ( email )

Pedro R. Sandoval Ave
Los Banos, Laguna 4031
Philippines

Suneetha Kadiyala

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Agnes R. Quisumbing

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Kenda Cunningham

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine ( email )

London, WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom

Parul Tyagi

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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