Does Women's Time on the Farm Affect Children's Nutritional Status? Evidence from Tanzania
Time allocation between reproductive and productive work in agriculture has implications for nutrition. Women, especially of reproductive age, are always confronted with the inescapable reality of dual responsibility of nurturing and caring for their children and engaging in productive activities. While both men and women face multiple roles and responsibilities, men’s roles are performed sequentially while those of women are performed simultaneously, and this forces women to make difficult trade-offs. Rural women in developing countries are especially more disadvantaged. The tasks they engage in mostly add up to 16 hours a day. Spending many hours on the farm reduces the time for engaging in domestic nutrition-improving chores. Women may have less time to breastfeed the children, to purchase and prepare nutritious and healthy meals, to prepare food in hygienic environments, to boil water, to frequently clean children and their playing environments and to acquire water from the safest water source. Malnutrition, especially stunting and underweight, is more prevalent in rural areas. Does women’s time on the farm affect children’s nutritional status?