This mixed methods study investigates the impact of introducing participatory intrahousehold decision making in Ugandan agricultural households on multiple dimensions of women’s empowerment, including more subjective aspects of sense of agency and achievements, by examining how impact aligns with women’s perceptions of the process, meaning and value of their empowerment. Participatory intrahousehold decision making is expected to empower women through increasing their voice and decision-making power and through reducing collective action problems within households, which compromise efficiency and equitable sharing of costs and benefits of household farming.
Introducing participatory intrahousehold decision making by intensively coaching couples contributed to women’s priority of enhanced access to household coffee income, which is only feasible in a pathway to empowerment where women have some leeway to participate in strategic household affairs. Awareness raising couple seminars promoted women’s involvement in strategic farm and household decisions, highly aspired and valued by women to actively contribute to their households’ welfare. This may facilitate the pathway to empowerment where there is scope for participating in household affairs. Household welfare improved as a result of couple seminars, an important achievement in itself that has great meaning to women as it answers to their priorities and sense of agency.