When women eat last: Discrimination at home and women’s mental health

Policy brief State Effectiveness and State

  • In Bihar, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra, India, it is common for women to eat after men in their households. 
  • Eating last is negatively associated with women’s mental health, even after accounting for differences in socioeconomic status across households. 
  • Additionally, eating last may be associated with worse mental health because it leads to worse physical health for women and/or signifies less autonomy for women. 
  • Collecting more data on a wider range of measures of women’s autonomy and social status, along with measures of physical and mental health, will contribute to more nuanced understanding of gender discrimination and mental health.