ResearchPad - hinduism Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Women’s empowerment as self-compassion?: Empirical observations from  India]]> Although ICPD brought about an international consensus on the centrality of women’s empowerment and gender equity as desired national goals, the conceptualization and measurement of empowerment in demography and economics have been largely understood in a relational and in a family welfare context where women’s altruistic behaviour within the household is tied either to developmental or child health outcomes. The goals of this study were twofold: (1) to offer an empirical examination of the household level empowerment measure through the theoretical construct of self-compassion and investigate its association with antenatal health, and (2) to ensure robust psychometric quality for this new measure. Drawing data from the nationally representative, multi-topic dataset of 42, 152 households, India Human Development Survey, IHDS II (2011–2012), the study performed a confirmatory factor analysis followed by an OLS estimation to investigate the association between a self-compassionate based empowerment and antenatal care. Empowerment was shown to be positively and significantly associated with antenatal care with significant age and education gradient. A woman’s married status, her relation to the household head and joint family residence created conditions of restricted freedom in terms of her mobility, decision making and sociality. The empowerment measure showed inconsistent associations with social group affiliations and household wealth. The study provided an intellectual starting point to rethink the traditional formulations of empowerment by foregrounding its empirical measure within the relatively unexplored area of social psychology. In the process it addressed measurement gaps in the empowerment-health debate in India and beyond.

<![CDATA[Waiting time at health facilities and social class: Evidence from the Indian caste system]]>

Waiting time for non-emergency medical care in developing countries is rarely of immediate concern to policy makers that prioritize provision of basic health services. However, waiting time as a measure of health system responsiveness is important because longer waiting times worsen health outcomes and affect utilization of services. Studies that assess socio-economic inequalities in waiting time provide evidence from developed countries such as England and the United States; evidence from developing countries is lacking. In this paper, we assess the relationship between social class i.e. caste of an individual and waiting time at health facilities—a client orientation dimension of responsiveness. We use household level data from two rounds of the Indian Human Development Survey with a sample size of 27,251 households in each wave (2005 and 2012) and find that lower social class is associated with higher waiting time. This relationship is significant for individuals that visited a male provider but not so for those that visited a female provider. Further, caste is positively related to higher waiting time only if visiting a private facility; for individuals visiting a government facility the relationship between waiting time and caste is not significant. In general, caste related inequality in waiting time has worsened over time. The results are robust to different specifications and the inclusion of several confounders.

<![CDATA[Religious Fragmentation, Social Identity and Conflict: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment in India]]>

We examine the impact of religious identity and village-level religious fragmentation on behavior in Tullock contests. We report on a series of two-player Tullock contest experiments conducted on a sample of 516 Hindu and Muslim participants in rural West Bengal, India. Our treatments are the identity of the two players and the degree of religious fragmentation in the village where subjects reside. Our main finding is that the effect of social identity is small and inconsistent across the two religious groups in our study. While we find small but statistically significant results in line with our hypotheses in the Hindu sample, we find no statistically significant effects in the Muslim sample. This is in contrast to evidence from Chakravarty et al. (2016), who report significant differences in cooperation levels in prisoners’ dilemma and stag hunt games, both in terms of village composition and identity. We attribute this to the fact that social identity may have a more powerful effect on cooperation than on conflict.

<![CDATA[Associations of women's position in the household and food insecurity with family planning use in Nepal]]>


Women in Nepal have low status, especially younger women in co-resident households. Nepal also faces high levels of household food insecurity and malnutrition, and stagnation in uptake of modern family planning methods.


This study aims to understand if household structure and food insecurity interact to influence family planning use in Nepal.


Using data on married, non-pregnant women aged 15–49 with at least one child from the Nepal 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (N = 7,460), we explore the relationship between women’s position in the household, food insecurity as a moderator, and family planning use, using multi-variable logistic regressions. We adjust for household and individual factors, including other status-related variables.


In adjusted models, living in a food insecure household and co-residing with in-laws either with no other daughter-in-laws or as the eldest or youngest daughter-in-law (compared to not-co-residing with in-laws) are all associated with lower odds of family planning use. In the interaction model, younger-sisters-in-law and women co-residing with no sisters-in-law in food insecure households have the lowest odds of family planning use.


This study shows that household position is associated with family planning use in Nepal, and that food insecurity modifies these associations–highlighting the importance of considering both factors in understanding reproductive health care use in Nepal. Policies and programs should focus on the multiple pathways through which food insecurity impacts women’s reproductive health, including focusing on women with the lowest status in households.