How are family gender relations affected by extra-household conditions in South Asia' By investigating quantitative factors (e.g. land ownership and income), along with qualitative aspects (e.g. social perceptions, interaction of gender relations in market, community, state and household), this paper shows how these multiple conditions influence the relative bargaining power of different household members. It argues that such understanding is vital for designing policy interventions. Control over land and income increases an individual's bargaining power. But women's contribution to families is undervalued, weakening their voice at home, access to food, and inheritance of property. Women's self-perception of this inequality has led to daily resistance strategies through secret selling of crops, hiding of rice, and pretending to be spiritually possessed in order to receive food otherwise denied to them. Strengthening women's position is the best way to increase their voice at home and in communities. Projects have successfully achieved this through providing women with access to credit and employment (e.g. Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee [BRAC]), in turn increasing their self-esteem, economic security and improved treatment from husbands.
Authors and Publishers
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Established in 1975, IFPRI currently has more than 500 employees working in over 50 countries. It is a research center of theCGIAR Consortium, a worldwide partnership engaged in agricultural research for development.
BRIDGE is a research and information programme located within IDS Knowledge Services. We are part of a global movement whose vision is a world where gender equality, dignity and social justice prevail, where poverty is eliminated and where human rights – including women’s rights - are realised.