• Ibrahim Kasirye

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis investigates the impacts and determinants of unequal gender relations within households in Uganda. The first topic addressed is the impacts of intrahousehold bargaining power on female agricultural labour supply in Uganda. There have been relatively few studies in Africa and Uganda in particular on this very important issue-mainly due to lack of appropriate data. I have accessed and used a unique merged cross-section dataset that combines individual women's information and household level indicators of agricultural production. The 2005/06 Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) and Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) merged cross-sectional dataset for the first time captured indicators of women's status within households and at the same time captured detailed agricultural data-especially relating to: labour allocation, types of agricultural activities, and nature of crop production-whether cash crops or food crops. Our results indicate that women with greater bargaining power contribute more to agricultural production and any continued gender discriminations is bound to affect agricultural production negatively. With regard to coffee production-Uganda's leading cash crop, we find that increasing household coffee crop activities are also associated with reducing female labour allocation to agricultural production.The second topic adopts an ordinary least squares and marginal probit approaches in examining the impacts of female bargaining power on multi dimensional indicators of household health in the context of a country with very poor indicators of health status like Uganda. We use a sample of 6,600 children aged less than 5 years and 4,700 married women from two cross sectional surveys in 2000/1 and 2006 to examine how female bargaining power impacts on children's anthropometric outcomes; children's use of vaccination services; a woman's nutritional status; and woman's use of reproductive health services. We find that bargaining power as measured by an index for a couple's relational indicators has minimal impacts on either children's or women's health status. Instead, it is mainly indicators of household welfare status that matter most-despite the presence of free public health care in Uganda. The third topic of the thesis examines female empowerment, as captured by participation in decision-making in the context of a country with strong patriarchal gender norms, such as Uganda. We use a sample of 9,800 married women from two cross-sectional surveys in 2000/1 and 2006, who were asked, "Who has the final say?" with respect to four major household decisions: the woman's own health; large household purchases; and daily household purchases; and visiting family or relatives. These data allow us to shed light on whether the characteristics for empowerment are similar across different domains of decision-making and the extent to which cultural norms, as captured by ethnicity, constrain female empowerment in Uganda. We find that graduating from secondary school and ethnicity proxies are significantly related to empowerment in different domains. Furthermore, our results are a robust to choice of empowerment indicator used.
Date of Award31 Dec 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDavid Lawson (Supervisor)


  • Uganda
  • Female empowerment
  • Agriculture
  • Intrahousehold bargaining

Cite this