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Strimell Flodqvist, Therese, 2018. Knocking on the door : a study on nutritional education and women’s empowerment on household level in rural Tanzania. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



In Sub-Saharan Africa, food is often prepared by women, by mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters or sisters-in-law. Despite their crucial role in household food security women in developing countries are generally disempowered and they have low decision-making power. Neither do they decide what to cultivate, nor who gets what and how much food within the household. When women are empowered, it positively affects household food and nutrition security. In Tanzania, many are food insecure and 33 % suffer from undernourishment (FAO, 2017), and one underlying cause is found in the lack of nutritional knowledge. Therefore, during 2016 - 2018, the Scaling up Nutrition (Scale – N) project started to offer nutritional education, to enhance nutrition sensitive, diversified agriculture and to empower women. In this thesis, I map the pathways to women’s empowerment that nutritional education can create and explore to what extent these have been achieved through the Scale – N project. Specifically, I consider whether the nutritional education has brought about changes in power relations within the households.

I draw on data from 24 face-to-face semi-structured interviews with women and men, and four gender-segregated focus group discussions in two villages in the central region of Dodoma, Tanzania. The data has been analysed using women’s em-powerment framework suggested by Kabeer (1999) and intra-household bargaining approach proposed by Agarwal (1997). Findings suggest that the nutritional education has influenced household food preparation and consumption, but not necessarily affected power relations within the household. I argue that there is a need for women to be part of all food related decisions, to contribute to their entire family’s nutritional needs. In addition, women struggle with the double burden of domestic and productive work. However, women have their own strategies for how to become less dependent on their husbands. In families where both wife and husband have participated in nutritional education, there are signs on adapting to new techniques, a change in diet but mostly a better knowledge in what is good and nutritious food. Thus, it is imperative for Scale – N to continue to conduct nutritional education targeting women while also including men.

Main title:Knocking on the door
Subtitle:a study on nutritional education and women’s empowerment on household level in rural Tanzania
Authors:Strimell Flodqvist, Therese
Supervisor:Bergman Lodin, Johanna and Lana, Marcos
Examiner:Sandström, Emil
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY007 Agriculture Programme - Rural Development 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:gender, women´s empowerment, decision making, intra-household bargaining, nutritional education, scale–N
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Education
Rural sociology and social security
Nutrition programmes
Deposited On:21 Jan 2019 12:56
Metadata Last Modified:04 Jun 2020 12:07

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