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Women’s empowerment in agriculture and household food insecurity: Evidence from Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan

Noshaba Aziz, Yanjun Ren, Kong Rong and Jin Zhou

Land Use Policy, 2021, vol. 102, issue C

Abstract: Despite the extensive literature on women's empowerment, the measurement of empowerment in the agricultural context is limited, especially in Pakistan. In this study, we used the Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) to explore its effect on household food insecurity in the northern part of AJK, Pakistan, using household survey data of 600 rural women. By using the Partial Least Square model structural equation model (PLS-SEM), the outcomes show that rights of women in the leadership domain, agricultural production domain, resource ownership in the form of land and livestock and time-domain i.e., time spent on farming lands have significant negative effects on food insecurity, i.e., women can improve the vulnerability of their households by having access to these rights. Surprisingly, we found that women's empowerment in the income domain provides significant but positive results, which points out that some non-economic mechanisms such as patriarchal customs and norms may prevent women from controlling their household income. As a consequence, women are likely to spend less money on accessing foods. The study results have significant implications for developmental practitioners targeting alleviating food insecurity, and empowering women must focus on cultural factors.

Keywords: Household food security; Women rights; Agriculture; Pakistan; Hierarchical construct; PLS-SEM (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.105249

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