Women’s rank modifies the relationship between household and women’s food insecurity in complex households in northern Burkina Faso
This study examined the relationship between food insecurity at household and woman–children sub-unit levels and factors modifying this relationship in complex households in northern Burkina Faso. Data were collected from 126 households and 176 woman–children sub-units every 6months from July 2001 to July 2003. Household food insecurity varied more between seasons than did woman–children sub-unit food insecurity. Woman–children sub-unit food insecurity increased when household food insecurity increased. Woman–children sub-units in monogamous households were less food insecure – and more at risk of becoming food insecure when the household became food insecure – than sub-units headed by women with first or second rank in polygamous households. Within polygamous households, woman–children sub-units headed by women with rank third or more were more likely to become food insecure when the household became food insecure than those with first or second rank. These results have implications for design, planning, and evaluation of programs and projects aiming to alleviate food insecurity in this and similar settings.
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