Women's Bargaining Power and Child Feeding in Nepal: Linkages Through Nutrition Information

Document Type



Women's intra‐household bargaining power is an important determinant of child nutritional status, but there is limited evidence on how it relates to infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices. We conducted a cross‐sectional analysis using 2012 baseline data from the impact evaluation of Suaahara, a multisectoral programme in Nepal, focusing on households with children 0–23 months (n = 1787). We examined if women's bargaining power was related to exposure to IYCF information and if exposure to IYCF information was in turn associated with improved IYCF practices: early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, minimum meal frequency and dietary diversity. Bargaining power consisted of four domains: (i) ownership and control of assets; (ii) social participation; (iii) workload; and (iv) household decision‐making control and were primarily measured using additive scales. We used generalized structural equation modelling to examine if exposure to IYCF information mediated the relationship between the bargaining domains and the four IYCF practices, separately. Social participation was positively associated with exposure to IYCF information (β = 0.266, P < .001), which in turn was related to early initiation (β = 0.241, P = .001). We obtained similar results for the relationship between social participation and dietary diversity. Decision‐making control was directly associated with exclusive breastfeeding (β = 0.350, P = .036). No domains were associated with minimum meal frequency. Different domains of women's bargaining power may relate to exposure to nutrition information and IYCF behaviours. Understanding specific domains of bargaining power is critical to developing interventions that can effectively address gender‐related issues that underlie child nutrition outcomes.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© 2019 The Authors. Maternal & Child Nutrition published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

APA Citation

Kulkarni, S., Frongillo, E. A., Cunningham, K., Moore, S., & Blake, C. E. (2020). Women's Bargaining Power and Child Feeding in Nepal: Linkages Through Nutrition Information. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 16(1)

This document is currently not available here.