Some of the key pathways linking agriculture and nutrition run through women’s work, yet the evidence on these links are weak. Using time use data from two Indian districts, this paper seeks to fill this gap. In principle, women’s agricultural work could have positive and negative implications for nutrition, through increased control over incomes resulting in improved diets to intensifying work burdens leading to tensions and trade-offs between their agricultural work and care responsibilities, as well as attention to their own health. The emerging evidence points to the nuanced ways in which social identity, seasonality and context mediate to shape women’s work in agriculture and consequently food intakes and feeding practices. Overall, women’s work in agriculture seems to have a negative effect on household nutrition through two pathways: lack of adequate time for care work in peak agricultural seasons and seasonal energy with consequent losses in body weight. Recognition of women’s contribution to both agricultural production and domestic reproduction, and supporting them adequately, is central to improving nutritional outcomes.
This research is supported by the Department for International Development’s by the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) programme
Nitya Rao and Raju S (2017) Gendered Time, Seasonality and Nutrition: Insights from Two Indian Districts. LANSA Working Paper Series, Volume 2017, No.22, 37p
Published 1 December 2017