In large parts of South Asia, gendered inequalities in intra-household food allocation cause a gender gap in food and nutrition security. Such inequalities are revealed in customary practices relating to food, health and care. This study is about the relationship between intra-household food allocation and women’s vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity in Nepal. It highlights the differential effects of family type, household composition and ethnicity on this relationship and on the impact of social change on women’s vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity. The study uses the moral household economy framework and applied a mixed-methods approach with an emphasis on qualitative methods. Thirty women from a Hindu and a Buddhist community in Humla, one of the poorest districts in Nepal, were interviewed about their perspectives on food and nutrition security. Their nutritional status was assessed as well. While in both communities, practices of food allocation and consumption were highly gendered, only in the Hindu households gender inequality was reflected in women’s vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity. Buddhist women had more decision-making power than the Hindu women had, were less affected by deeply rooted cultural practices that disfavour pregnant and lactating women, and seemed to benefit more from social change.
|Title of host publication||Diversity and change in food wellbeing|
|Subtitle of host publication||Cases from Southeast Asia and Nepal|
|Editors||A. Niehof, H.N. Gartaula, M. Ouetulio-Navarra|
|Place of Publication||Wageningen|
|Publisher||Wageningen Academic Publishers|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|