The Relationship between Women’s Empowerment and Household Food and Nutrition Security: A Multi-Level Analysis
Posted: 12 Nov 2021
Date Written: September 20, 2021
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
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