Having more power to make decisions in the workplace means more control over your own life. This can mean the ability to decide which resources you use, whether you want to invest in a new project, or whether you want to move to a new city. It can also mean more security, especially if you have children.
Decision-making authority over productive resources
Several studies have analyzed women’s decision-making authority over productive resources. These studies have found that women’s decision-making authority is highly dependent on age, education, and gender, and on socio-cultural context.
Women’s decision-making authority is also dependent on the type of decision being made. For instance, in agricultural asset purchases, males seem to dominate the decisions. However, women have more say in the decision-making process when it comes to crop production, animal production, and food purchases.
In a recent study, Doss and Quisumbing (2019) examined the cooperative gains to men and women when household decisions are made. They found that women had greater decision-making authority when they were given a greater share of the household income, compared to when they had less. The decision-making model they proposed emphasizes cooperation, rather than competition, as a key strategy to increase women’s decision-making authority.
Various studies have shown the health benefits of women’s empowerment. Studies have examined the relationship between women’s empowerment and child health. These studies have used household-level, individual-level, and community-level variables. They also used randomized control trial and cross-sectional surveys.
Most studies documented a positive association between women’s empowerment and child health. The studies used various anthropometric and non-anthropometric health indicators to measure the relationship. The anthropometric indicators measure children’s nutritional status. These measures include weight-for-age z-score, height-for-age z-score, and a child’s height-for-age. Non-anthropometric indicators include the treatment of diarrhea, infant mortality, and use of vaccinations.
The majority of studies used cross-sectional surveys. The studies measured the relationship between women’s empowerment and child nutrition, health, and well-being. Some studies used household-level factors such as access to nutritious food, a child’s nutritional status, and family wealth. Some studies used individual-level factors such as education, maternal health, and household income.
Increasing women’s empowerment is one pathway for improving nutrition in families and societies. It increases the ability of women to acquire resources, change the composition of household purchases, and improve health care.
Women’s empowerment is associated with lower levels of undernutrition, including reduced risks of malnutrition in mothers. It is also associated with increased food security, higher mobility, and improved diet diversity. In addition, empowered women are more likely to be able to attend health center appointments and allocate more money to health care.
In Burkina Faso, an E-HFP program was implemented to improve children’s nutritional status. It aimed to increase the production of nutrient-rich foods, increase the control of household resources, and promote optimal nutrition practices. Women’s empowerment was a primary objective of the program.
Throughout the world, women are often effectively barricaded from economic engagement. The burdens of unpaid family care, legal barriers to certain professions, and discrimination related to race and disability all contribute to barriers for women in the workplace.
Socioeconomic status (SES) is a reliable predictor of life outcomes. SES is defined by sociologists and includes income, occupation, and quality of life attributes such as education. SES is further divided into three groups, with the richest 20% comprising the fifth quintile. Increasing women’s economic empowerment increases access to economic resources and opportunities. It helps women move out of poverty.
Socioeconomic status is a powerful predictor of health. Studies have demonstrated this relationship repeatedly. In addition, income continues to shape women’s health into midlife.
Studies have also examined the role of occupational class in the relationship between SEP and health. For example, in the US, Mexican-American girls are more likely to be overweight/obese than other girls. On the other hand, boys in the upper classes are more likely to experience a SEP gradient in later childhood.
Protection from violence
Providing women with the tools and resources to protect themselves from violence is crucial to achieving lasting security. This can be done by connecting legal specialists with women in at-risk communities, and encouraging civil society groups to engage with survivors.
In many countries, women are disproportionately impacted by violence, especially in less-developed regions. Women in these regions are often abused by a family member, husband, or another person they know. The consequences of these abuses can be devastating, including poor health and decreased productivity.
The most common types of violence against women are sexual abuse and physical assaults. Nearly one in three women will experience some form of sexual abuse in her lifetime. In addition, one in ten women will experience some form of physical assault.