Do Women's Land Rights Promote Empowerment and Child Health in Nepal?

World Dev. 2007 Nov;35(11):1975-1988. doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2006.12.005.


Women's land rights are increasingly put forth as a means to promote development by empowering women, increasing productivity, and improving welfare. However, little empirical research has evaluated these claims. This paper uses the 2001 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey to explore whether women's land rights empower women and benefit young children's health in Nepal. The results provide support for both of these hypotheses. Women who own land are significantly more likely to have the final say in household decisions, a measure of empowerment. Similarly, children of mothers who own land are significantly less likely to be severely underweight.

Keywords: Asia; Nepal; empowerment; gender; land rights; nutrition.