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Women’s Empowerment in 
Agriculture: What Role for 
Food and Nutrition Security 
in Bangladesh? 
Esha Sraboni 
Hazel Malap...
Introduction 
 Achieving gender equity and empowering women is a goal in 
itself (UN MDG 3). Would women’s empowerment al...
The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture 
Index (WEAI) 
 Survey-based index designed to measure empowerment and 
inclusion ...
A woman’s empowerment score 
shows her own achievements
Data 
 IFPRI’s Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) 2011-2012; 
nationally representative of rural Bangladesh 
...
Food and nutrition outcomes examined 
Diet diversity scores 
Household-level 
– 12 food groups 
Maternal 
– 9 food groups ...
Empowerment measures 
 Empowerment score of primary female (overall 
empowerment in the five domains) 
 Gender parity ga...
Other control variables 
Household characteristics 
Individual characteristics for child and mother 
Price of rice 
Pr...
Results
Impacts on weekly household dietary diversity 
(number of food groups) 
1.9 
1.7 
0.9 
0.2 
0.01 
-2.6 
2.5 
2 
1.5 
1 
0....
Impact on child 
dietary diversity 
(number of food groups) 
Impact on maternal 
dietary diversity 
(number of food groups...
Summary of key results 
 Overall women’s empowerment score, the number of groups in which 
women actively participate, wo...
Conclusions
Policy implications 
 Strengthen women’s access to land and resources, including: 
– Livestock 
– Farm equipment 
– Credi...
Policy implications 
 Include men in the process and programs to empower 
women 
 Increase women’s educational attainmen...
More information available at 
WEAI RESOURCE CENTER 
http://www.ifpri.org/book9075/ourwork/program/weai-resource- 
center
Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture: What Role for Food and Nutrition Security in Bangladesh? by Esha Sraboni
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Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture: What Role for Food and Nutrition Security in Bangladesh? by Esha Sraboni

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Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture: What Role for Food and Nutrition Security in Bangladesh? by Esha Sraboni

  1. 1. Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture: What Role for Food and Nutrition Security in Bangladesh? Esha Sraboni Hazel Malapit Agnes Quisumbing Akhter Ahmed Workshop on Evidence-Based Policy Options For Food And Nutrition Security in Bangladesh 1 October 2014, Dhaka
  2. 2. Introduction  Achieving gender equity and empowering women is a goal in itself (UN MDG 3). Would women’s empowerment also lead to improved food and nutrition security outcomes?  We use a new measure of empowerment to examine the relationship between women’s empowerment in agriculture and • Household dietary diversity • Maternal dietary diversity • Child dietary diversity
  3. 3. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI)  Survey-based index designed to measure empowerment and inclusion of women in the agricultural sector – Collaboration between USAID, IFPRI and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative – Designed initially as tool to monitor US government’s Feed the Future interventions – Broadly applicable as a diagnostic tool to identify potential areas for policy intervention  WEAI is made up of two sub indices – Five domains of empowerment (5DE) – Gender parity index (GPI) – All range from zero to one (higher values mean greater empowerment)
  4. 4. A woman’s empowerment score shows her own achievements
  5. 5. Data  IFPRI’s Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) 2011-2012; nationally representative of rural Bangladesh  Final estimation sample: 3,273 farm households  Household-level data on weekly food acquisition used to construct household dietary diversity measure  Individual level data on food consumption based on 24-hour recall used to construct maternal and child dietary diversity measures  WEAI survey data used to construct individual empowerment scores for primary males and females in households
  6. 6. Food and nutrition outcomes examined Diet diversity scores Household-level – 12 food groups Maternal – 9 food groups Child - 7 food groups
  7. 7. Empowerment measures  Empowerment score of primary female (overall empowerment in the five domains)  Gender parity gap (=0 if have gender parity)  Leadership domain: – Number of groups in which she is an active member  Resources domain: – Average number of credit decisions she participates in solely/jointly – Number of assets she has sole/joint ownership of – Number of decisions over purchase/sale/transfer of assets she participates in solely/jointly
  8. 8. Other control variables Household characteristics Individual characteristics for child and mother Price of rice Production diversity: Number of food crops produced by household Method of impact estimation – Instrumental variables regression
  9. 9. Results
  10. 10. Impacts on weekly household dietary diversity (number of food groups) 1.9 1.7 0.9 0.2 0.01 -2.6 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3 Empowerment score Group membership Credit decisions Asset ownership Rights over assets Gender parity gap
  11. 11. Impact on child dietary diversity (number of food groups) Impact on maternal dietary diversity (number of food groups) 0.44 0.5 0.45 0.4 0.35 0.3 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 Empowerment score 0.38 0.50 0.45 0.40 0.35 0.30 0.25 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 Empowerment score
  12. 12. Summary of key results  Overall women’s empowerment score, the number of groups in which women actively participate, women’s control of assets and ability to take decisions regarding credit, reduction of empowerment gap between men and women in the same household have a positive impact on household dietary diversity  Women’s empowerment has a positive impact on maternal and child dietary diversity  Increasing crop production diversity contributes to improved household and child dietary diversity  A woman’s education is important for her and her child’s dietary diversity
  13. 13. Conclusions
  14. 14. Policy implications  Strengthen women’s access to land and resources, including: – Livestock – Farm equipment – Credit (from both banks and NGOs)  Strengthen women’s control over land and resource use. – Evaluation of BRAC’s Targeting the Ultra-Poor Program demonstrates that access to resources does not necessarily mean control of resources or decision-making authority over use  Increase community leadership opportunities for women in: – Group-based programs through NGOs – Local government
  15. 15. Policy implications  Include men in the process and programs to empower women  Increase women’s educational attainment  Need to diversify crop production in this predominantly rice-based economy
  16. 16. More information available at WEAI RESOURCE CENTER http://www.ifpri.org/book9075/ourwork/program/weai-resource- center

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