Taking Power: Women's Empowerment and Household Well-Being in Sub-Saharan Africa

46 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2019

Date Written: October 2, 2019

Abstract

This paper examines women's power relative to that of their husbands in 23 Sub-Saharan African countries to determine how it affects women's health, reproductive outcomes, children's health, and children's education. The analysis uses a novel measure of women's empowerment that is closely linked to classical theories of power, built from spouses' often-conflicting reports of intrahousehold decision making. It finds that women's power substantially matters for health and various family and reproductive outcomes. Women taking power is also better for children's outcomes, in particular for girls' health, but it is worse for emotional violence. The results show the conceptual and analytical value of intrahousehold contention over decision making and expand the breadth of evidence on the importance of women's power for economic development.

Suggested Citation

Annan, Jeannie and Donald, Aletheia Amalia and Goldstein, Markus P. and Gonzalez Martinez, Paula and Koolwal, Gayatri B., Taking Power: Women's Empowerment and Household Well-Being in Sub-Saharan Africa (October 2, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 9034, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3485917

Jeannie Annan (Contact Author)

International Rescue Committee ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Aletheia Amalia Donald

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Markus P. Goldstein

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Paula Gonzalez Martinez

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Gayatri B. Koolwal

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
40
Abstract Views
199
PlumX Metrics