Using the WEAI for analysis in
different socio-cultural contexts:
Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal
Hazel Malapit and Agnes Quis...
Introduction
• Global report has provided suggestive evidence that
women’s empowerment is strongly correlated with
several...
What this presentation tries to do:
1. Use the WEAI to diagnose areas where gaps in
empowerment exist for women in Banglad...
Main messages (spoiler alert!)
• Patterns of (dis)empowerment vary across
country and context
• Indicators and policy inst...
Data
• Bangladesh: Bangladesh Integrated Household
Survey (BIHS) 2011-2012; nationally representative
of rural Bangladesh ...
Bangladesh
% Contribution of domains & indicators to women’s
disempowerment
Nepal
% Contribution of domains & indicators to women’s
disempowerment
Ghana
% Contribution of domains & indicators to women’s
disempowerment
Regression analysis
We estimate the following:
f = β0 + β1 empowerment + β2 h + β 3 c + ε
where:
f = vector of outcomes
em...
Empowerment measures
Bangladesh
WEAI

Nepal

Ghana

Women’s 5DE score

Women’s 5DE score

Women’s 5DE score

Relative Auto...
Does the aggregate women’s 5DE
score tell us anything meaningful?
Bangladesh
Household level
outcomes

Maternal outcomes

...
Bangladesh results: summary from IV regressions
Household-level outcomes Child outcomes
Calorie
availability

Diet
diversi...
BANGLADESH

Summary of Results
• Empowerment gaps are greatest in terms of leadership in the
community and control and acc...
Nepal results: summary from OLS and IV regressions
Maternal outcomes

Child outcomes

Diet
diversity

BMI

Diet
diversity
...
NEPAL

Summary of Results
• Empowerment gaps are greatest in terms of group
membership, control over income, autonomy in p...
Ghana results: Maternal outcomes, summary from OLS
regressions
Maternal
outcomes
5DE
Agricultural
decisions
Credit decisio...
Ghana results: ICYF behavior and child outcomes,
summary from OLS regressions
Exclusively
breastfed

Diet
diversity

Min
S...
GHANA

Summary of Results
• Empowerment gaps are greatest in terms of
production decisions and control and access to
resou...
Summary of 3-Country Results
• Different indicators of empowerment matter
for different outcomes
• Other non-agricultural ...
The WEAI as an analytical tool
Conclusions on the use of WEAI
• WEAI is a blunt instrument, but it is like a
Swiss Army knife—individual indicators are
v...
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Session 2a - Quisumbing and Malapit - Using the WEAI for analysis in different socio-cultural contexts: Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal

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Presentation by Agnes Quisumbing and Hazel Malapit (IFPRI) at "A Learning Event for the Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index," held November 21, 2013 in Washington DC.

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Session 2a - Quisumbing and Malapit - Using the WEAI for analysis in different socio-cultural contexts: Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal

  1. 1. Using the WEAI for analysis in different socio-cultural contexts: Ghana, Bangladesh and Nepal Hazel Malapit and Agnes Quisumbing Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division International Food Policy Research Institute Supported by the US Agency for International Development through the Bangladesh Policy Research and Strategy Support Program and the WEAI
  2. 2. Introduction • Global report has provided suggestive evidence that women’s empowerment is strongly correlated with several outcomes (hunger, diet diversity), but not with others (nutritional status) • How can we use the WEAI – To diagnose patterns of disempowerment and identify areas for policy intervention? – To understand the relationship between empowerment and desired outcomes in different socio-cultural contexts? • Two neat features of the WEAI: – Decomposable into its component domains and indicators – Based on extremely detailed individual- and household-level data
  3. 3. What this presentation tries to do: 1. Use the WEAI to diagnose areas where gaps in empowerment exist for women in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Ghana, three very different sociocultural contexts 2. See how outcomes related to food security and nutrition are correlated with indicators that contribute most to disempowerment using regression analysis 3. Learn from similarities and differences in the results to hypothesize how empowerment “works” in different social and cultural contexts
  4. 4. Main messages (spoiler alert!) • Patterns of (dis)empowerment vary across country and context • Indicators and policy instruments will therefore vary • Domains of empowerment are not equally important in determining different outcomes at the household, mother, and child level
  5. 5. Data • Bangladesh: Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) 2011-2012; nationally representative of rural Bangladesh (http://www.ifpri.org/dataset/bangladeshintegrated-household-survey-bihs-2011-2012) • Nepal: Nepal Suaahara Baseline Survey, 2012; survey included 8 intervention districts where Suaahara planned to implement programs, and 8 matched comparison districts • Ghana: Feed the Future’s Population-Based Survey, Baseline 2012; statistically representative of FTF’s zone of influence (http://agrilinks.org/library/feed-future-ghanabaseline-survey-dataset)
  6. 6. Bangladesh % Contribution of domains & indicators to women’s disempowerment
  7. 7. Nepal % Contribution of domains & indicators to women’s disempowerment
  8. 8. Ghana % Contribution of domains & indicators to women’s disempowerment
  9. 9. Regression analysis We estimate the following: f = β0 + β1 empowerment + β2 h + β 3 c + ε where: f = vector of outcomes empowerment = measures of empowerment β0 , β1, β2 , β3 = coefficients to be estimated h = vector of individual & HH characteristics c = vector of community characteristics ε = error term Where possible, we use instrumental variables methods to deal with endogeneity of empowerment
  10. 10. Empowerment measures Bangladesh WEAI Nepal Ghana Women’s 5DE score Women’s 5DE score Women’s 5DE score Relative Autonomy Index (RAI) score # of production decisions Production Resources # of credit decisions # assets with sole/joint ownership #decisions over purchase/sale of assets Income Leadership Time # of credit decisions # ag and nonag activities in which she has input in income decisions or feels she can make decisions # of groups in which she is an active member # of groups in which she is an active member # hours worked # hours worked
  11. 11. Does the aggregate women’s 5DE score tell us anything meaningful? Bangladesh Household level outcomes Maternal outcomes Child outcomes Nepal Ghana HH per capita calorie adequacy (+) HH per adult equivalent adequacy (+) Dietary diversity (+) Maternal dietary diversity (+) Girls: dietary diversity (-), min. acceptable diet (-), min. diet diversity (-), wasted (+), underweight (+)
  12. 12. Bangladesh results: summary from IV regressions Household-level outcomes Child outcomes Calorie availability Diet diversity Anthropome Education trics (6-10) Education (11-15) Group + membership + n.s. n.s. n.s. Credit decisions + + n.s. n.s. n.s. Asset ownership + + n.s. n.s. n.s. Rights over assets + + n.s. n.s. n.s. Gender parity gap - - n.s. n.s. Father’s education + (WAZ, HAZ) + + Mother’s education n.s. n.s. +
  13. 13. BANGLADESH Summary of Results • Empowerment gaps are greatest in terms of leadership in the community and control and access to resources • Women’s 5DE score, the number of groups in which women actively participate, women’s control of assets are positively associated with calorie availability and dietary diversity. • Reducing the empowerment gap between men and women in the same household also contributes to increasing calorie availability and dietary diversity • Results concerning credit decision-making need to be interpreted with caution (weak instruments, seeking credit is not necessarily a sign of empowerment in this context) • Increasing production diversity also contributes to household calorie availability and dietary diversity • Other non-ag dimensions of empowerment (parental education) may be more important for child nutrition and education outcomes
  14. 14. Nepal results: summary from OLS and IV regressions Maternal outcomes Child outcomes Diet diversity BMI Diet diversity WAZ WHZ HAZ Woman’s 5DE n.s. + - + for < 2 n.s. - Autonomy + n.s. + + n.s. + Control over income + (OLS), n.s. + (IV) n.s. +, + for <2 n.s. n.s. Group member n.s. + n.s., positive for <2 + for <2 n.s. -, + for <2 Workload (hours) + - (OLS), n.s. (IV) - (OLS) +, - for < 2 +, - for < 2 +
  15. 15. NEPAL Summary of Results • Empowerment gaps are greatest in terms of group membership, control over income, autonomy in production and workload • Empowerment measures are significantly associated with maternal outcomes, and variable relationships with child outcomes • Autonomy in production is significantly associated with improvements in maternal dietary diversity and child nutrition • Higher workload is significantly associated with dietary diversity for mothers and children, and children’s height-forage z-scores • Time poverty is associated with disempowerment but actually does improve outcomes, though sensitive to age of child— WEAI is decomposable but not necessarily monotonic in indicators because of context-specific gender norms
  16. 16. Ghana results: Maternal outcomes, summary from OLS regressions Maternal outcomes 5DE Agricultural decisions Credit decisions Diet diversity Underweight n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. + n.s.
  17. 17. Ghana results: ICYF behavior and child outcomes, summary from OLS regressions Exclusively breastfed Diet diversity Min Stunted dietary diversity Wasted Under weight n.s. - for girl n.s. n.s. n.s. + for girl Agricultural n.s. decisions - for girl - for girl + for girl n.s. + for girl Credit decisions n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. 5DE n.s. • Women’s empowerment associated with ICYF behaviors for girls, not boys (but the sign is contrary to expectations) • Less diverse and lower quality diets in empowered hhs? • Possibility that diet diversity scores are capturing poor appetite and illness among infants, because different foods are typically offered only when children are ill or refuse food (Davis 2000)
  18. 18. GHANA Summary of Results • Empowerment gaps are greatest in terms of production decisions and control and access to resources • Women’s empowerment strongly associated with good IYCF behaviors, and likelihood of wasting and underweight for girls but not boys – however, relationship indicates women’s empowerment does not favor girls! • Women’s participation in credit decisions significantly correlated with dietary diversity, consistent with bargaining models
  19. 19. Summary of 3-Country Results • Different indicators of empowerment matter for different outcomes • Other non-agricultural dimensions of empowerment may be more important for some outcomes (especially for children’s nutrition and education) • We sometimes get unexpected results: – Empowerment not significant for boys’ nutrition, but girls in empowered households are worse off (Ghana) – Time poor women have better dietary diversity and taller children, but lower BMI (Nepal)
  20. 20. The WEAI as an analytical tool
  21. 21. Conclusions on the use of WEAI • WEAI is a blunt instrument, but it is like a Swiss Army knife—individual indicators are very revealing, so use them! • While indicators “add up” in the computation of the WEAI, they don’t always add up in the same direction because gender norms are context specific. This could lead to ambiguity of interpretation • Use knowledge of gender norms and context to guide analysis and interpretation of results

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