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dc.contributor.authorLevay, Adrienne
dc.contributor.authorMumtaz, Zubia
dc.contributor.authorRashid, Sabina Faiz
dc.contributor.authorWillows, Noreen D.
dc.identifier.citationLevay, A. V., Mumtaz, Z., Faiz Rashid, S., & Willows, N. (2013). Influence of gender roles and rising food prices on poor, pregnant women's eating and food provisioning practices in dhaka, bangladesh. Reproductive Health, 10(1) doi:10.1186/1742-4755-10-53en_US
dc.descriptionThis article was published in the Reproductive Health [© 2013 Reproductive Health] and The Journal's website is at:
dc.description.abstractBackground: Maternal malnutrition in Bangladesh is a persistent health issue and is the product of a number of complex factors, including adherence to food 'taboos' and a patriarchal gender order that limits women's mobility and decision-making. The recent global food price crisis is also negatively impacting poor pregnant women's access to food. It is believed that those who are most acutely affected by rising food prices are the urban poor. While there is an abundance of useful quantitative research centered on maternal nutrition and food insecurity measurements in Bangladesh, missing is an understanding of how food insecurity is experienced by people who are most vulnerable, the urban ultra-poor. In particular, little is known of the lived experience of food insecurity among pregnant women in this context. This research investigated these lived experiences by exploring food provisioning strategies of urban, ultra-poor, pregnant women. This knowledge is important as discussions surrounding the creation of new development goals are currently underway. Methods. Using a focused-ethnographic approach, household food provisioning experiences were explored. Data from participant observation, a focus group discussion and semi-structured interviews were collected in an urban slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Interviews were undertaken with 28 participants including 12 pregnant women and new mothers, two husbands, nine non-pregnant women, and five health care workers. Results: The key findings are: 1) women were aware of the importance of good nutrition and demonstrated accurate, biomedically-based knowledge of healthy eating practices during pregnancy; 2) the normative gender rules that have traditionally constrained women's access to nutritional resources are relaxing in the urban setting; however 3) women are challenged in accessing adequate quality and quantities of food due to the increase in food prices at the market. Conclusions: Rising food prices and resultant food insecurity due to insufficient incomes are negating the recent efforts that have increased women's knowledge of healthy eating during pregnancy and their gendered empowerment. In order to maintain the gains in nutritional knowledge and women's increased mobility and decision-making capacity; policy must also consider the global political economy of food in the creation of the new development goalsen_US
dc.publisher© 2013 Reproductive Healthen_US
dc.subjectFood insecurityen_US
dc.subjectMaternal malnutritionen_US
dc.titleInfluence of gender roles and rising food prices on poor, pregnant women's eating and food provisioning practices in Dhaka, Bangladeshen_US
dc.contributor.departmentJames P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University

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