Women’s land ownership and participation in decision-making about reproductive health in Malawi

Julia Andrea Behrman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Given the centrality of land to rural livelihoods and the high rates of fertility in Africa, there is a need for more research that explores the intersection between gendered patterns of land ownership and reproductive health outcomes. Drawing on a household bargaining framework, I hypothesize that women’s land ownership should be associated with increases in women’s decision-making in multiple domains in the household including financial decision-making (the focus of bargaining literature), but also decision-making about reproductive health. Using the 2010 Malawi Demographic Health Survey (DHS), I find women’s ownership of land (sole or joint) is associated with increases in women’s participation in financial decision-making in the household and women’s sole ownership of land is associated with increases in women’s participation in reproductive health decision-making. However, women’s joint ownership of land with spouses is negatively associated with participation in reproductive health decision-making, perhaps because of backlash or intra-household conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-344
Number of pages18
JournalPopulation and Environment
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Bargaining
  • Fertility
  • Land
  • Malawi
  • Reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

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