Do Women's Land Rights Promote Empowerment and Child Health in Nepal?

Keera Allendorf, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Women’s land rights are increasingly put forth as a means to advance development by empowering women, increasing productivity, and promoting welfare and well-being. However, little empirical research has evaluated these claims. I use the 2001 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey to explore whether women’s land rights empower women and benefit young children’s health. Linear and logistic regression models provide evidence that land rights empower women by increasing their control over household decision making. Logistic regression models using indicators of nutritional status also support the hypothesis that women’s land rights benefit children’s health. Children of mothers who own land are significantly less likely to be severely underweight or stunted.

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Presented in Session 82: Gender Inequality in Developing Countries