Maasai women's empowerment: Using mixed methods to examine household decision-making

November 17, 2022 | 13:30 h - 14:30 h

Online! ZEF public lecture with Timothy Baird, Associate Professor at the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech, USA.

Around the world, women’s empowerment is a primary concern – enshrined most recently in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for gender equality (Goal 5). A critical component of empowering women is supporting their access to decision-making. Studies have shown that women in many contexts of the Global South lack agency to participate in important decisions, even within their households. Few studies, however, have systematically examined variation in agency across individuals and communities. Here, we focus on a sample of Maasai women (n=300) in ten communities across northern Tanzania to better understand how individual and household factors are associated with access to decision making for different types of household decisions. Using mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, we identify: (1) ten broad types of household decisions; (2) several factors that are significantly associated with women’s access to household decision making; and (3) other seemingly important factors that are not clearly associated with decision-making. In addition, we describe how issues with land can both support and undermine women’s access to certain decision types. Taken together, our findings show how certain decisions are associated with several factors and others with few. This variability lends support for empowerment strategies that disaggregate “women’s decision making” and better integrate qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry.  

Timothy Baird is an Associate Professor at the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech, USA. His research in rural Africa examines how vulnerable communities are adapting to protected areas, engaging a globalizing world, and embracing new technologies. Tim is interested in how social networks change, how engagement works, and how people respond to disruption. His work relates to scholarship in human-environment interactions, human ecology, resilience studies, and student-centered learning. Website:


Please register by writing an e-mail to You'll receive the zoom link after registration.


Diese Webseite verwendet Cookies

Diese Website verwendet Cookies – nähere Informationen dazu und zu Ihren Rechten als Benutzer finden Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung am Ende der Seite. Klicken Sie auf „Ich stimme zu“, um Cookies zu akzeptieren und direkt unsere Website besuchen zu können.
Read more