The impact of a small steady stream of income for women on family health and economic well-being

J. Katz, K. P. West, E. K. Pradhan, S. C. Leclerq, S. K. Khatry, S. Ram Shrestha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our Primary aim To evaluate the impact of a small steady stream of income on family health and well-being among rural women employed part-time in a health project in Sarlahi district, Nepal. All 870 women applying for the job of distributing nutritional supplements in their villages completed a questionnaire prior to selection for employment, 350 of whom were hired and 520 who were not. A total of 736 women completed a second questionnaire 2 years later, 341 (97.4%) of whom had been continuously employed during this period, and 395 (76.0%) who had never been employed by the project. Changes in health and well-being over 2 years were compared between women who were and were not hired. Women who were hired were younger and better educated, but were similar in other regards. After adjusting for selection differences, employed women were more likely to save cash, buy jewellery, and buy certain discretionary household goods over 2 years than those who were not hired. Expenditures on children's clothing increased more for employed women, and their children were more likely to be in private schools at follow-up, but there was no impact on health and survival of children. Women with a small steady stream of income did improve their personal economic situation by savings and increased expenditures for children and the household. Longer follow-up may reveal impacts on health access and expenditures, although these were not evident in 2 years of employment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-52
Number of pages18
JournalGlobal public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Asia
  • Employment
  • Empowerment
  • Nepal
  • Nutrition
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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