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Issue Date: 1-Dec-2020
Publisher: Università degli studi Roma Tre
Abstract: Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes a specific society considers appropriate for men and women. It represents a pervasive determinant of livelihood activities and plays a key role in determining a person’s quality of life and well-being. In Ethiopia, as in most parts of the world and especially in developing countries, women are systematically less well-nourished than men, more exposed to physical and psychological violence and less healthy; moreover, they are less likely than men to be literate and to have a professional or technical education. The occurrence of unequal sharing of burden for domestic works and childcare, which are mostly under women’s responsibilities, affect their access to paid jobs as well as contribute to determining their poverty of time. Overall, Ethiopian women are vital for what concerns household food security: they are in charge of providing edible food and preparing meals for the whole family on a daily basis. Notwithstanding the women’s crucial role, the multi-dimensional gender gap indicators for Ethiopia still show one of the highest levels of unequal status in the Sub-Saharan African countries. Despite remarkable progress has been made regarding some dimensions, women and girls in Ethiopia are strongly disadvantaged compared to men in several areas, including literacy, health as well as basic human rights. The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of gender inequality in education, health and employment opportunities as well as that of women’s empowerment on children’s food security, using the Capability Approach as theoretical framework. A wide strand of literature has already pointed out that women play a crucial role for the expansion of their own capabilities and also that of their children. Furthermore, growing attention to the achievement of gender equality is paid by international bodies and scholars in order to reach sustainable development. The hypothesis is that the narrower the multi-dimensional gender inequality is, the more women will be empowered and will participate in the decision-making process, improving the health and nutritional conditions of their children. To assess the existence and the magnitude of these relations, we use data provided by the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Food security is measured by anthropometric indicators, which encompass information on nutritional achievements, providing a more complete picture of child health and dietary status. We use two models, one based on individual characteristics and the other one based on the intra household differences between the mother and the father of the child. Intra-household gender inequality is accounted for educational achievements and working conditions; in addition, variables addressing women's empowerment and their decision-making power within the household have also been taken into consideration, such as the perception of domestic violence. Other control variables are included in order to take into account socio-economic factors, such as wealth and place of residence. The main findings show that to improve children’s food security, it would be crucial to enhance women’s empowerment in multiple dimensions, which has a significant impact. The analysis of intrahousehold gender equality suggests mixed results, equality in education is desirable, while the effect of working condition might need further investigation. For further research and investigation, data collected to capture the intra-household differences would be useful
Access Rights: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Appears in Collections:Dipartimento di Economia
T - Tesi di dottorato

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