Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 105

P06-084 - He Said, She Said: Intra-household Disparities in Water Insecurity Experiences between Men and Women in Tanzania

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objective: Water insecurity (WI) may be an important determinant of nutrition status but it is currently poorly understood. Because there are often intra-household differences in food insecurity experiences, we sought to explore differences in how men and women in the same rural Tanzanian household experience WI. We hypothesized that women would report experiencing WI more than men, as rural Tanzanian women are predominantly responsible for household water procurement.

There were 455 husband-wife pairs enrolled in the Singida Nutritional and Agroecology Project in Tanzania (SNAP-TZ; NCT02761876) interviewed using a questionnaire with 15 items on household water procurement and 32 items household water insecurity experiences. The frequency of WI experiences were coded as responses 0="never”, 1=“rarely”, 2=“sometimes”, 3=“often", and 4=“always". Disparities in WI experiences were evaluated by comparing mean likert responses using paired t-test.

Women (94.5%) were significantly more likely than men (15.7%) to be primarily responsible for household water acquisition (p<0.001), spending an average of 11.9±10.3 hours a week doing so. Men and women reported significant differences in frequency of experiences on 4 economic and status-related items: insufficient water for crops and livestock, a lack of money to buy water, difficulty in maintaining hygiene of household members, and borrowing water (Figure 1). In each case, men reported more frequent WI experiences than women.

Although women were responsible for procuring water for household use, surprisingly, men reported more frequent WI experiences. These experiences were associated with income generation, managing finances, and social dependence. These gendered experiences may influence household economic decisions and resource allocation, which may ultimately affect the nutrition and health of the household. Understanding WI and gender dynamics and differing views may be useful for creating effective nutrition-sensitive interventions.

Funding Source: This study was funded by the Collaborative Crop Research Program of the McKnight Foundation and Atkinson Center for Sustainable Futures of Cornell University. Sera L Young was supported by the National Institutes of Health (K01 MH098902).
ASN Abstract - He Said, She Said Figure 1

CoAuthors: Marianne Santosa, MS – Cornell University; Shalean Collins, RD, MPH – Northwestern University; Rachel Bezner Kerr, MSc, PhD – Cornell University; Neema Kassim, PhD – Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology; Haikael Martin, PhD – Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology; Clara Mollay, MPH – Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology; Elias Mtinda, MS – Action Aid Tanzania; Kelvin Mtei, PhD – Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology; Sera Young, MA, PhD – Northwestern University

Amy Lin

Northwestern University
Hillsborough, California