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Access to Water, Women’s Work and Child Outcomes
Poor rural women in the developing world spend considerable time collecting water. How then do they respond to improved access to water infrastructure? Does it increase their participation in income earning market-based activities? Does it improve the health and education outcomes of their children? To help address these questions, a new approach for dealing with the endogeneity of infrastructure placement in cross-sectional This paper—a product of the Gender and Development Unit, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network—is part of a larger effort in the department to understand the constraints, including infrastructure-based, to women’s participation in market activities and the externalities for children.
The paper does not find that access to water comes with greater off-farm work for women, although in countries where substantial gender gaps in schooling exist, both boys’ and girls’ enrollments improve with better access to water. There are also some signs of impacts on child health as measured by anthropometricz-scores.