How does womenâ€™s time in reproductive work and agriculture affect maternal and child nutrition? Evidence from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Nepal
Hazel Jean Malapit and
No 1486, IFPRI discussion papers from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
There are concerns that increasing womenâ€™s engagement in agriculture could have a negative effect on nutrition because it limits the time available for nutrition-improving reproductive work. However, very few empirical studies have been able to analyze whether these concerns are well-founded. This paper examines whether an increase in womenâ€™s time in agriculture adversely affects maternal and child nutrition, and whether the lack of womenâ€™s time in reproductive work leads to poorer nutrition. Using data from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Nepal, we find that on the whole, in poor households, reductions in womenâ€™s reproductive work time are detrimental to nutrition, especially for children. In contrast, womenâ€™s and childrenâ€™s nutrition in nonpoor households is less sensitive to reductions in time on reproductive work. Working long hours in agriculture reduces womenâ€™s dietary diversity score in Ghana and nonpoor womenâ€™s in Mozambique. However, for poor women and children in Mozambique, and children in Nepal, working in agriculture in fact increases dietary diversity. This suggests that agriculture as a source of food and income is particularly important for the poor. Our results illustrate that womenâ€™s time allocation and nutrition responses to agricultural interventions are likely to vary according to socioeconomic status and local context.
Keywords: gender; women; agriculture; poverty; nutrition; children; time (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1486
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