This summary provides an overview of how gender inequality impacts maternal and child nutrition in Northern Nigeria. The research had two main purposes: (1) to increase understanding of the pathways by which gender inequality is linked with poor maternal and child nutritional outcomes and (2) to formulate a set of gender-related questions which ORIE research will address in order to provide information on how to address gender-related issues that influence maternal and child nutrition and the uptake of health and nutrition services.
Research found that despite a good national level framework to prevent gender discrimination, gender inequality remains high in the north and many states have not domesticated federal legislation. Rates of early marriage (under 18) are high and women are usually subjected to purdah and require the permission of their husbands to leave the compound. Rates of maternal mortality are among the highest in the world and they have very low access and utilization of health services. Based on these findings a core set of gender-related research questions have been developed which will seek to examine the relationship between gender inequality, health related behaviours, and maternal and child nutrition in Northern Nigeria and explore gender related demand side and supply side barriers to the uptake of nutrition services and how they might be modified.