"Why should I feed her less?": Challenging assumptions on daughter discrimination in the food provisioning values of ultrapoor Bangladeshi female heads of household

Jenny Munro, Lynn McIntyre

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Scholars suggest that discrimination against girls in household food allocation relates to son preference, or the prioritization of male children's needs. This study brings important new data to the study of variations in son preference and daughter discrimination in South Asia through its interviews with 43 ultrapoor women household heads in Bangladesh. Few studies of son preference consider the values of ultrapoor women, namely those who earn less than 1.25 USD per day, yet in popular understandings, including among members of the development aid community, women who are poor and uneducated take the most blame for son preference/daughter discrimination. The ultrapoor women in this study, coming from both patrilineal and matrilineal kinship traditions, strongly argued that they treated, valued, and fed their sons and daughters equally, suggesting the need for more nuanced, qualitative investigations to account for divergences of class, culture, and household headship in shaping feeding values and practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
    Volume45
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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