The Power to Protect: Household Bargaining and Female Condom Use
Certain technologies require a joint adoption decision within the household. In contexts where women have a preference for adoption but low bargaining power, they may struggle to convince their partners to adopt. Introducing a version of the technology that is second-best from a social planner's perspective, but more acceptable to men, may therefore paradoxically increase adoption and welfare. We evaluate an intervention introducing female condoms in Mozambique. Female condoms offer marginally lower protection and higher unit cost than male condoms, but lower discomfort and stigma to men. As predicted by our model, we find strong adoption among women with low bargaining power. A cost-benefit analysis shows how free provision of female condoms could therefore be cost-effective.
Rachel Cassidy a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. She is also a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development, and an affiliate of the University of Oxford’s Centre for the Study of African Economies. She received her PhD from the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford.
For the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, the Gender Violence Health Centre (GVHC) hosts an annual seminar series at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). This year’s series will highlight the research underway by the GVHC.
The series will begin on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) and will run until Human Rights Day (10 December).
2018 marks the 27th year of the campaign.