The Relationship between Women’s Empowerment and Household Food and Nutrition Security: A Multi-Level Analysis

Posted: 12 Nov 2021

See all articles by Sidra Ishfaq

Sidra Ishfaq

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Date Written: September 20, 2021

Abstract

Women’s empowerment is considered to play a crucial role in food and nutrition security. We aimed to understand the relationship between food and nutrition security and women’s empowerment in rural Pakistan. To estimate women’s empowerment, we developed a Rural Women Composite Empowerment Index incorporating nine domains. Analysis of 1879 rural households from the Pakistan Rural Household Panel Survey (PRHPS) found that the prevalence of food and nutrition insecurity was 33% and 50% respectively. For women’s empowerment, the domains of traveling safely (21%), time allocated to tasks (20%), and (lack of) domestic violence (19%) were the most significant. Using the index, we employed multi-level mixed-effect regression analysis and found a positive and significant relationship between women’s empowerment and food and nutrition security – the proportion of households who were food and nutritionally secure in empowered households was 70% and 98% respectively. Developing programs and policies to improve domains of women’s empowerment requires a focussed policy agenda, bringing together policymakers from a number of different sectors including education, economy, communications, technology, and agriculture. Women’s empowerment is the key to making positive changes not only in FNS but in all aspects of health and wellbeing.

Keywords: Food and nutrition security, household, women empowerment, rural, Pakistan

JEL Classification: C19, C38, D19, R20, I10, J16, Q01, Q12

Suggested Citation

Ishfaq, Sidra, The Relationship between Women’s Empowerment and Household Food and Nutrition Security: A Multi-Level Analysis (September 20, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3927313

Sidra Ishfaq (Contact Author)

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Islamabad, 44000
Pakistan

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