Confronting the Wall of Patriarchy: Does participatory intrahousehold Decision Making empower Women in agricultural Households?

Published: 23 Oct 2019 | Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/rb3zz4bx3p.1

Description of this data

This study investigates the impact of introducing participatory intrahousehold decision-making on the empowerment of women in agricultural households in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Ugandan coffee farming households. Participatory intrahousehold decision-making is expected to empower women through increasing their voice and reducing collective action problems, which otherwise compromise efficiency and equity of the household farm. With a mixed methods approach this study captures the impact on multiple dimensions of empowerment, including women’s perceptions of the process, meaning and value.
Our study qualitatively finds that involvement in strategic household decisions and cash crops is of key importance to women but hard to achieve. Decision-making power over day-to-day household affairs is assigned to them by default, but carries less meaning.
Women portrayed three possible pathways towards empowerment in their household: “Breaking through the wall of patriarchy” – the preferred pathway but conditional on being married to a cooperative husband - “Circumventing” it, or having “No choice but to take full responsibility” in case of husbands who are ill or absent.
On the basis of a randomized encouragement of couples to participate in an intervention introducing participatory intrahousehold decision-making, we quantitatively demonstrated the catalyzing effects on different domains of women’s empowerment, including involvement in strategic household decisions, women’s control over household income, personal income and assets. Women’s decision-making power over cash crop production, another valued strategic domain, increased to some extent. These impacts support women in following a pathway to empowerment by “Breaking through the wall of patriarchy”, but are also valuable for women for whom that pathway is out of reach.
Alleviating power imbalances and collective action problems through participatory intrahousehold decision-making has the potential to empower women in domains they value and should be combined with effective ways to accomplish women’s wish to gain economic power to actively contribute to their household’s development.

Experiment data files

  • Qualitative data
  • Quantitative data

Latest version

  • Version 1


    Published: 2019-10-23

    DOI: 10.17632/rb3zz4bx3p.1

    Cite this dataset

    Lecoutere, Els; Wuyts, Eva (2019), “Confronting the Wall of Patriarchy: Does participatory intrahousehold Decision Making empower Women in agricultural Households?”, Mendeley Data, v1


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Development Studies, Gender, Eastern Africa, Empowerment, Household


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