Social Indicators Research

, Volume 138, Issue 1, pp 89–108 | Cite as

The Effect of Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture on Household Nutrition and Food Poverty in Northern Ghana

  • Francis TsiboeEmail author
  • Yacob A. Zereyesus
  • Jennie S. Popp
  • Evelyn Osei


The study examines the effect of women’s empowerment in agriculture on household nutrition—i.e. the availability of carbohydrates, protein, and fat—and household food poverty measured by monetary food shortfall. The analysis is done by applying instrumental variable estimation to a sample of 2642 households from a 2012 population-based survey conducted in northern Ghana. Overall, the results indicate that women’s empowerment positively influences nutrient availability and negatively influences monetary food shortfall. By decomposing women’s empowerment into its component domains, this study identified that the domains of Income, Production, and Leadership are areas for intervention to influence households’ nutrient availability and monetary food shortfall outcomes. The effect of the Time and Resources domains reveal that some intra-household trade-offs may exist. Thus, policies aimed at empowering women to ultimately improve household nutrition and food poverty need to be based on the understanding of these specific interactions.


Women Empowerment Nutrition Food poverty Ghana 



The authors wish to acknowledge funding support from USAID-Ghana Mission Economic Growth Office through USAID Grant No. BG3824 and Project No. GAGE603117. However, this paper does not reflect the views of the USAID and its programs.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Economics and AgribusinessUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  2. 2.Agricultural Economics DepartmentKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Economics and AgribusinessUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana

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